Seminar Title

5 Day New Fire Arson Investigators Academy

Dates of Events

09/11/2023 through 09/15/2023

Last Updated: 05/31/2023
Instructor(s): Steve Riggs, Steven Chasteen
Location: Allendale Twp. Fire Department - 6676 Lake Michigan Drive, Allendale, MI 49401
Course Registration Fee: $495
Instructor Bio
Event Detail-2
Steve Riggs
Steve Riggs, IAAI-CFI, CFEI, CVFI & CFII Certified
State of Oklahoma (Retired)
Steve Riggs retired after twenty-two years of Law Enforcement, and Fire Service Experience in Oklahoma. Steve has been examining fire scenes for 40 years. Steve holds a Bachelors Degree in Emergency Management, and has extensive training in Fire Cause Determination, Criminal Investigation, Arson Investigation, Evidence Processing, Interviewing Techniques, and Case Management. He is a Certified Police and Fire Instructor and a Certified Fire Investigator Instructor. Mr. Riggs has successfully been involved in many Fire/Arson Prosecutions in Oklahoma and was involved in a Federal Prosecution. To date, he has never lost an Arson Case. Steve has authored and co-authored several fire training manuals and written “A Critical Analysis of NFPA 921 User’s Manual 2nd Edition”. Steve lectures nationally to Local, State, Federal Agencies, Insurance Companies, Private, and Military Investigators, Prosecutors, Vehicle Manufacture Represent-atives and their Engineers. Steve is on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Fire Investigators.

Steven Chasteen


Steve Chasteen has been in the fire service since 1972 serving as a volunteer firefighter and a full-time career firefighter and company officer for more than 27 years for the City of Bloomington, Illinois Fire Department. He worked as a municipal fire investigator for the fire department for a number of years prior to returning to suppression duties on a ladder company where he retired as a Lieutenant.
Steve has also worked as a private fire investigator working in the insurance industry conducting fire investigations for the past 38 years. He has conducted more than 3,500 fire scene examinations and fire analysis to determine the origin and cause of the fire. Steve has testi-fied extensively in both State and Federal Court as an expert witness. Steve is recognized as an “Associate at the Institute of Fire Engineers” in London, England. He is a “Certified Fire Investigator” recognized by the International Association of Arson Investigators, a “Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator” recognized by the National Association of Fire Investigators. Steve also attended the ATF National Academy in Glynco, GA. He is still a member of the MABAS 41 Fire Investigation Team in McLean County, Illinois.
Steve also worked as a “Field Staff Instructor” with the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute in Champaign, Illinois as one of the lead instructors in the Fire/Arson Investigation Training Program providing instruction to firefighters, police officers and insurance company representatives. Steve has provided fire investigation training to criminal investigators from various branches of the US Military.
Steve regularly consults with various local and state fire officials as well as law enforcement agencies around the country to provide assis-tance in fire investigation and fire scene analysis. Steve has provided expert assistance to prosecutors in criminal cases as well as to the insurance industry and manufacturers in civil cases
Course Objectives
Course Overview:
5 Day New Fire/Arson Investigator
“Starting With The Basics”

Course Objectives:
Conducting a valid, legal, and proper origin and cause investigation is the first step in working towards a criminal investigation in an arson cause. It is also important in the investigation of accidental fires so future fires and injuries may be prevented.
This course will cover the necessary investigation practices for the new and not so new fire investigator. Upon completion of this course, the student will have the necessary tools to become a well-trained fire investigator. The training will assist and prepare the investigator for the challenges they may face in both criminal and civil investigations and court settings.

Upon Completion:
Upon completion of this course, the student shall be able to inspect and evaluate the fire scene to determine the area and/or point of origin, source of ignition, materials first ignited and the act or activity that brought the ignition source and materials together. The necessary tools and equipment to perform the investigations will also be listed and the usage of each discussed.
The student will be able to prepare diagrams and take photographs of the scene and utilize several forms of field notes necessary to compile the final report.
The student will be able to identify, collect and preserve evidence recovered at the fire scene using the proper physical and legal procedures to retain the usefulness of the evidence in court proceedings.
The student will be able to conduct interviews to obtain usable information in the assistance of determining the origin and cause of the fire and in preparing the final report.

Course Overview:
This course will provide information that will prepare the student for making presentations in legal proceedings, preparation of reports that will be usable for criminal prosecution and help to meet department requirements.

Resources That Will Be Helpful During Class: (But Not Required)
® Current copy of NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations
® Copy of NFPA 1033 Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator
Latest Edition of Kirk’s Fire Investigation
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