Observation Of Fire Scene Investigation

1386 Words6 Pages
Introduction It is important that first responders to an incident continually assess the potential hazards and risks that firefighters may be exposed to. Firefighters that are the first to respond to an incident must evaluate the possible dangers to the well-being of fire suppression personnel and take appropriate action (IAFC, 2010). Any hazards that are identified must either be controlled or eliminated before proceeding. The case study presented depicts a scene of a fire in which there is suspicion of arson activity. It is important for first responders to know how to assess the scene, protect vital evidence and provide the necessary information to the fire investigator. This paper will discuss the various components of proper fire scene investigation etiquette. Observation of the Fire and Scene Conditions Personnel that are responding to a fire need to observe conditions and be aware of activities at or near the scene of the fire. By paying attention to the surrounding conditions, personnel will be able to give the investigating officer, who may arrive later an accurate and complete description (IAFC, 2010). First responders are able to gain invaluable information about the fire throughout their approach to and appearance at the scene. When responders are approaching the scene of a fire, they should observe and note presence, locality, and condition of the victims of the fire and potential witnesses. It is important to note if vehicles are leaving the scene as the first responders approach and if there are any unusual events close to the scene of the fire. Firefighters should also be watching out for by-standers that could potentially have witnessed the fire or may have had something to do with the fire starting. A lot of inf... ... middle of paper ... ...ing and certifications than the firefighters (IAFC, 2010). If a crime was committed, the fire department needs reliable investigators that will be able to testify in court. Conclusion In the case study presented, the fire officer should obtain as much information as possible about the origin of the fire. Steps should be taken to preserve the evidence, including restricting access to the scene. Firefighters should avoid excessive overhauling and salvage techniques. The shoe prints and the glass bottle need to be photographed for evidence. A fire investigator from another fire house will need to be called in for the investigation. The police department will set up a perimeter to protect the evidence until the fire investigator can assume his role. Reference IAFC (2010). Fire officer–Principles and practice (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
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