Fire Investigation: Interview and Testimony R0208

Curriculum: Fire Investigation
Training Specialist

Lester Rich

Delivery type
10-Day On-Campus
Continuing education units
ACE recommendation
In the upper division baccalaureate degree category, four semester hours in fire science, fire management, or criminal justice.

This 10-day course will provide the necessary tools for fire/arson investigators to conduct sound, legally supported interviews and interrogations with witnesses and suspects in preparation for court testimony.

The course also provides essential and critical skills for investigators in courtroom testimony preparation and presentation, with the intent that the trained student can provide expert testimony. The students participate in a mock trial exercise where they are expected to defend their findings based on cases assigned in class.

Note: Successful completion of this course provides students with credit for the expert witness testimony component for the International Association of Arson Investigators CFI Certification Program.

Student pre-course materials and course syllabus:

Selection criteria

Priority will be reserved for federal, state and local fire service and law enforcement personnel with full-time fire/arson investigation responsibility and/or prosecution.

These personnel include:

  • Fire/arson investigators.
  • State fire marshals.
  • Criminal investigators.
  • District attorney’s staff.
  • Members of arson task forces.


1.  Incident Command System (ICS)-100-level and ICS-200-level training. Preferred courses are Q0462 and Q0463, available through NFA Online.  Chief’s signature attests that the applicant has completed this required training.

2.  Successful completion of National Fire Academy’s “Fire/Arson Origin-and-Cause Investigations” or "Fire Investigations: Essentials" course (both R0206) or “Fire/Arson Investigation” (R/H/O0205) course. Successful completion of one of the following state’s arson courses satisfies the R/H/O0205 or R0206 requirement: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

3.  Successful completion of the following Certified Fire Investigator (CFI) Trainer modules through the CFI Trainer website:

  • Ethics and the Fire Investigator.
  • MagneTek: A Case Study In The Daubert Challenge.
  • Critical Thinking Solves Cases.
  • Fundamentals of Interviewing.
  • Effective Investigation and Testimony.

There are no costs or membership requirements to access these modules. Applicants must provide a copy of their CFI Trainer transcript along with their admissions application verifying that they have successfully completed the requisite training modules listed above.

Post-course requirements


Upcoming offerings

Dates Availability Location Contact(s) CCP Train-the-Trainer?
September 24, 2018 - October 5, 2018 Wait List Opportunity Emmitsburg, Maryland
October 8 - 19, 2018 Application period closed Emmitsburg, Maryland
January 7 - 18, 2019 Application period closed Emmitsburg, Maryland
March 18 - 29, 2019 Application period closed Emmitsburg, Maryland
June 17 - 28, 2019 Apply on 10/15/2018 - 12/15/2018 Emmitsburg, Maryland
August 19 - 30, 2019 Apply on 10/15/2018 - 12/15/2018 Emmitsburg, Maryland
September 23, 2019 - October 4, 2019 Apply on 10/15/2018 - 12/15/2018 Emmitsburg, Maryland

Student comments

As a result of the knowledge and skills I learned from training at the NFA, I was able to obtain a full confession from a suspect who committed arson .... I utilized the information and skills given to me by fantastic instructors and had solid confidence and courage to obtain the confession. I am confident my skills will come back into play when and if there is a trial. Thank you so much for the skills.