Dear CAFI Members,
I hope you are all enjoying your summer while staying cool and hydrated at your scenes. It has been a busy time for fires this year in Ontario, and likely across this great country. I can attest for the number of investigations that my firm has completed, as well as colleague firms in the industry. With the number of fires out there to be investigated, it is ever more important for us to continue doing a thorough and proper job in our investigations. This is where training and constantly upgrading our skills helps us to stay current with the industry state-of-the-art.
This is why I am proud to be a part of CAFI, an organization that provides industry leading training to its membership in a form that is accessible to all of its’ members across Canada, and to our members across the globe. Along with our Webinar series presented by industry leading experts, we at CAFI are in the process of developing on-line mini-courses that are in-depth and immerse the participants in studies that will upgrade and hone their skills as fire investigators. The mini-courses will also test the participants to make sure that the material was understood and will be appropriately applied. Please keep an eye out for future CAFI announcements and check in on the CAFI web site about the online mini-courses.
For those local in Ontario, the South Central Ontario chapters’ spring training seminar that took place on April 18 - 19 was a big hit. This quality and informative seminar was attended by over 50 participants ranging from engineers, private investigators, OFM Investigators, fire department investigators, police and insurance industry professionals. The 2-day live training seminar titled “JUST ADD GAS?? Investigation and Identification of Incendiary Fires", took place at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI). The South Central Ontario chapters' 2-room burn cell was utilized to test participants and demonstrate skills in investigating incendiary fires. The chapter received very positive feedback, and I must say, it was the best seminar I’ve attended in my career.
The South Central Ontario chapter also wants to announce that the burn cell is available to individuals and firms that may want to utilize it for training or to test hypotheses. Live fire training options can be few and far between but now you can perform your own live fire exercises, training and testing using the CAFI South Central Ontario Chapter burn cell. The burn cell is available to all CAFI members and is conveniently located at the Fire & Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI) located next to the Toronto Pearson Airport in Mississauga, Ontario. FESTI is fully equipped with pumper trucks and firefighters so that you can rest assured your burn will be completed and extinguished safely. For more information, please visit the Burn-Cell section on the CAFI web site under News/Events.
I have also heard very good feedback about the first course in the Faculty of Forensic Sciences at Laurentian University, which began in January 2018 and was recently completed. This course was an introduction to fire investigation, the first of 4 courses that provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the job function of a Professional Fire Investigator to the NFPA 1033 Standard. More details are provided under the NEWS/EVENTS section of our web site. This is a great opportunity for those who have taken the one week NFPA1033 course elsewhere and are looking to delve deeper into the listed 16 topics that need to be understood beyond the high school level at a post-secondary education level.
To register for an upcoming webinar, please go to our web site under SEMINARS. The last webinar that was presented on June 28th was on Arc Mapping, one of the four sources of information in Origin Determination. This was presented by Jason D’Ornellas, a respected Electrical Engineer in the industry. The next few courses will be on note taking and interview techniques.
If you missed a webinar that you wanted to watch, no worries. All of the webinars are recorded and posted to the CAFI web site under the Members Only section. CAFI Members can LOGIN with the temporary password Cafi2018# and follow instructions to change your password to a permanent one. Once in the members’ only section, choose Archived Webinars on the right side menu. The members’ only section also contains past copies of the CAFI Journal magazine for your reading pleasure.
With all of the training opportunities, we at CAFI are very proud to uphold our mission to promote and enhance the field of fire investigation through ongoing training and evaluation. I wish you all a fire safe season.
Vladimir Chlistovsky, CCFI-C, CFEI, P.Eng.
President, Canadian Association of Fire Investigators