Date: May 16-18, 2017
Instuctor: Robert Collins, CFI, CFEI, ECT
Location: Hilton Pensacola Beach, 12 VIA DE LUNA DRIVE
Pensacola Beach, Florida 32561
This course is designed to teach the investigator basic fundamentals in determining the origin and cause of fires and explosions that occur onboard vessels and adjacent structures. The students will review safety considerations, scene documentation, burn pattern analysis, and fuel and ignition sources, based on NFPA 921, NFPA 1033, & NFPA 302.
This class is designed for fire service, law enforcement, conservation officers, military personnel and insurance company investigators. This class will provide the investigator with the basic skills and knowledge needed to determine the origin and cause of fires onboard vessels of all types and a basic knowledge of marine fire investigation. The information provided will give the student a basic understanding of the systems and construction of both commercial and recreational vessels.
To investigate the origin and cause of any fire, the investigator must have an understanding of the basics. This class will include a review of NFPA 921 and 1033. As the foundation is laid, the next steps of fire behavior and fire pattern analysis will allow the investigator to identify the area of origin and then determine potential ignition sources that are present on a vessel. The investigator should then be able to identify the most competent ignition source.
By using this basic knowledge, the fire investigator will be presented with the following information that will help them in determining origin and cause of vessel fires:
• Safety of the vessel and the investigator while conducting the investigation
• Conducting an inspection of the vessel
• Understanding vessel construction and design
• Basic vessel terminology
• Understanding vessel systems i.e. Machinery, Fuel, Electrical, and Auxiliary
• Identify common ignition sources
• Identify common fuel sources
• Cause factors
• A basic knowledge of explosions
Publications that the students may find helpful for this course: (Copies will be for sale at the class)
NFPA 921 Guide for Fire & Explosion Investigation– 2014 Edition
NFPA 1033 Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator – 2014 Edition
NFPA 301 Code for Safety to Life from Fire on Merchant Vessesls – 2013 Edition
NFPA 302, Fire Protection Standard for Pleasure and Commercial Motorcraft – 2015 Edition
NFPA 303, Fire Protection Standards for marinas and Boatyards – 2016 Edition
NFPA 307, Standard for the Construction and Fire Protection of Marine Terminals, Piers, and Wharves – 2016 Edition
ABYC, American Boat and Yacht Council Standards
Kirk’s Fire Investigation 7th Ed
Basic Fire Investigation (Day 1)
Introduction to Fire Investigation, NFPA 921 and NFPA 1033
Fire Behavior / Interpreting Fire Patterns
Examining the marine fire scene
Documenting the fire scene
Marine Fire Investigation (Day 2)
Identifying the fuel source
Identifying the ignition source
Post Explosion Investigation
Marine Fire Investigation (Day 3)
Collecting the fire scene evidence
Fatal Fire Investigation
Review & Test
Robert Collins has 20 years of experience in both the Fire Service and Law Enforcement. He is also a 15 year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard. Robert began his Coast Guard career as an Engineer and Firefighter and moved into a Law Enforcement role in both the Maritime Security and Safety divisions. He has conducted over hundreds Coast Guard boardings and safety inspections on both recreational and commercial vessels. Robert has conducted inspections on and has assisted with the installation of vessel power plant, propulsion, and auxiliary systems. Robert has numerous certifications from the USCG, ranging from engine room watch officer and marine engine analyst to boarding officer and command duty officer. He has attended the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Fire Academy and was a Damage Control Instructor and is a current member of the International Association of Marine Investigators.
Robert is currently employed as a Firefighter/EMT and Fire/Arson Investigator for the Normal, IL Fire Department and as a Police Officer and Criminal Investigator for the Hudson and Danvers, IL Police departments. Robert is certified as a Firefighter III and an Arson Investigator through the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office. He is also a Certified Fire Investigator and Certified Evidence Collection Technician through the International Association of Arson Investigators as well as a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator by the National Association of Fire Investigators. Robert has obtained an Expert Witness certification from the International Association of Arson Investigators. Since becoming a certified investigator in 2007, he has investigated the origin and cause of many accidental and incendiary fires. As a criminal investigator, certified in interview and interrogation, Robert has obtained numerous confessions which have led to convictions in both state and federal cases.