Fire Investigation: Interview and Testimony R0208

R0208 is being replaced by R0790. Interested students should apply for R0790 during the April 15-June 15, 2019 open application period.
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.

Applicants who are not employed full time in the fire investigation field may be eligible. Applicants must submit a detailed letter from the chief of the department attesting to their position, duties and responsibilities as related to fire investigation and involvement with the prosecution of state arson laws, if any.


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 training.

2.  Applicants must meet ONE of the following:

  • Successful completion of National Fire Academy’s "Fire Investigations: Essentials" or “Fire/Arson Origin-and-Cause Investigations” course (both R0206).
  • International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) Certified Fire Investigator (IAAI-CFI®) or IAAI Fire Investigation Technician (IAAI-FIT®) or National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) Certified Fire Investigator (NAFI-CFI).
  • Successful completion (above 80%, 3.0 or B) of federal, tribal, state or territory sponsored fire investigation specific training which totals 80 hours. Applicants must provide documentation (certificates) to reach the 80 hour level. Multiple courses can be combined to reach the 80 hour threshold (CFI Trainers may not count toward this requirement).
  • State awarded and state Certified Fire Investigator (CFI) designations are acceptable (must provide certificate with certification number).
  • State level Fire Investigation Technician (FIT) are NOT acceptable (exception North Carolina NC-FIT, must provide certificate).
  • A Bachelor of Science degree in fire science, fire protection engineering, or fire, arson or explosion investigation from an accredited college or university.

3.  Successful completion of the following Certified Fire Investigator (CFI) Trainer modules (transcript MUST be submitted with application):

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

Applicants must provide a copy of their CFITrainer.Net transcript and documentation to support the pre-requisite requirements at the time of application. Documentation (certificates, transcripts, certifications, and letters) must be clear, readable, concise and attached to the application at time of submission.

Post-course requirements


Upcoming offerings

Dates Availability Location Contact(s) CCP Train-the-Trainer?
August 19 - 30, 2019 Full Emmitsburg, Maryland
September 23, 2019 - October 4, 2019 Full Emmitsburg, Maryland

Student comments

This class has really increased my confidence and overall knowledge when it comes to conducting an interview. This curriculum and techniques are invaluable to fire investigators whether you are new to an investigator position, like myself, or a veteran.