ATF Director, IAAI President Note New Online Learning Program for Fire Investigators

April 27, 2005

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director Carl Truscott and Michael Schlatman, president of the International Association of Arson Investigators, announced the launch of a new online learning program for fire investigators called will provide affordable and consistent training to the certified fire investigator (CFI) and broader arson investigation communities. It will reportedly enhance investigators’ knowledge by leaning on the skills and experiences of seasoned CFIs and by providing high-quality training. The goals of are improved cause determinations of fires and more successful investigations.

“The community of certified fire investigators will greatly benefit from the combined experience and knowledge offered by,” Truscott said in a speech at the IAAI’s 56th annual conference. “Information sharing and cooperative investigations lead to successful prosecutions of arsonists.”

“ATF and the IAAI are recognized leaders in the field of fire and arson investigations. We are working together to ensure the continued advancement of the fire investigation community,” Schlatman said. “We have a proven track record of success when partnering with ATF, and we believe this project is no different. We are proud to work with the dedicated men and women of ATF in the interest of improving the professional development of all fire investigators.”

ATF contributed to the distance learning system by participating on the steering committee that developed the training modules, beta testing the program to ensure its benefit to investigators, and working to protect the educational interests of state and local public service partners. is available to public sector investigators from fire and police departments, as well as private sector investigators from the insurance industry. It is designed for individuals who investigate arson and kindred crimes, and is available from any computer with Internet access. is a comprehensive system that will allow registered participants to pursue programs, track their progress, take online evaluations and tests, as well as view live programs and participate in web seminars, all through a secure Internet environment. It brings the resources of highly experienced investigators and current training to fire investigators worldwide. Additionally, the trainer will provide credit for CFI certification and recertification. is ATF’s latest partnership venture with IAAI to provide training to fire investigators at all levels. The new distance learning program provides an opportunity for arson and fire investigators, and in turn supports ATF’s training initiatives.

Programs and topics of current interest to the fire investigation community now are readily available online. Interfire VR, a CD-based training tool and reference source, was the first-generation e-learning initiative between the two agencies.

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