Fire Investigation: Forensic Evidence R0214

R0214 is being replaced by R0778. Interested students should apply for R0778 during the April 15-June 15, 2019 open application period.
Curriculum: Fire Investigation
Training Specialist

Lester Rich

Delivery type
6-Day On-Campus
Continuing education units
ACE recommendation
In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, two semester hours in fire service or forensic science.

This six-day, intermediate-level course addresses the critical skills essential to the effective collection, packaging, preservation, processing and testing of evidence from a fire and/or explosive scene. This course uses state-of-the-art techniques, practices, protocols and standards relative to the investigator and laboratory scientist, which ensures legally defensible evidence presentations in a court of law. This course also includes interaction and collaboration between the street-level investigator and the laboratory scientist. This partnering fosters the collaborative efforts of the entire investigative community involved in the overall aspects of evidence from fire and explosive incidents.

Students will be able to:

  • Assemble and assess various reports and physical evidence relational to a scene.
  • Identify the effect of fire and associated suppression activities on forensic evidence.
  • Assess and specify forensic tests requested.
  • Describe effects of ignitable liquids and temperature on various types of forensic evidence.
  • Demonstrate a general knowledge of the instruments and techniques employed in forensic analyses.
  • Explain the use and limits of accelerant detection K-9.
  • Demonstrate various uses of casting materials for impressions (tires, toolmarks, footwear, etc.) and fingerprint dusting/lifting capabilities.
  • Be aware of the other various forensic services such as: DNA, toxicology, firearms and toolmarks, trace evidence, computer/cellphone forensics, forensic toxicology and forensic photography.

Note: This course requires participation in evidence review, collection, packaging, impression casting, fingerprinting and related practical exercises that may be conducted outdoors. Appropriate attire is recommended for possible inclement weather based on time of year.

Student pre-course materials and course syllabus:

Selection criteria

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

  • Fire/arson investigators.
  • State fire marshals.
  • Law enforcement personnel.
  • 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 required 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) through the CFI Trainer website (There are no costs or membership requirements to access these modules.)

  • 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 CFI Trainer 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.

Note: Laboratory scientists/analysts are exempt from prerequisite of NFA’s R0206 course listed above. ICS courses and CFI Trainer modules still apply.

Post-course requirements


Upcoming offerings

Dates Availability Location Contact(s) CCP Train-the-Trainer?
September 15 - 20, 2019 Full Emmitsburg, Maryland