Haverhill, Methuen Firefighters and Police Graduate from ‘Team Concept’ Investigation Course

(File photograph.)

Three Haverhill firefighters, a Methuen fire captain and a Methuen police officer recently graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s six-day Basic Fire Investigation course.

Haverhill firefighters Andrew Lafferty, Timothy Riley and Timothy Sullivan; Methuen Fire Capt. Michael Fluet; and Methuen Police Officer Mark Parolisi were among 82 graduates of the program aimed at using teams of fire and police officials to determine the origin and causes of fires.

State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said, “The team concept of fire investigation has been used successfully in Massachusetts for over 30 years and it starts with joint training.” He added, “When police and fire are trained in the same techniques and procedures together, the consistency leads to accurate origin and cause determinations, and when arson is the cause, solid criminal cases. This course provides students with the most current techniques for determining the origin and cause of fires.”

This professional training provides fire, and state and local police officers with the technical skills to accurately determine the origin and cause of fires in their jurisdictions and together, build solid, prosecutable cases.

The six-day basic fire investigation course covers the concepts of witness interviewing, fire behavior, scene examination, fire scene documentation, and evidence collection. Students must pass a written examination. The program covers unintentional fires, intentionally set fires, automobile fires, fatal fires and wild land fires.

In total, graduates included 64 firefighters, eight local police officers and 10 Massachusetts State Police officers, represent 57 agencies or departments. The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy, a division of the Department of Fire Services, offers this program, tuition-free.

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