Teesside University and County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service have collaborated to develop the country’s first FdA Fire Scene Investigation – a two-year fire scene investigation foundation degree.
This intensive programme of study includes modules in forensic awareness, fire scene photography, forensic reconstruction, recovering fingerprints from a fire scene and fire scene investigation techniques.
A former Victorian pub was used for a series of live fire incidents as part of the students’ final practical exercise. Several rooms were set alight to create realistic scenes so they could investigate the cause of the fires. Later the students presented their evidence in Darlington County Court. There they were cross-examined by HM Coroner Andrew Tweddle, a leading barrister.
'As a service we thankfully have a limited number of major fire scene investigations to undertake every year. However, it is essential that all investigators working within a scene are trained to the highest standard. We need to ensure we maximise our opportunity to establish the cause of the fire and enable the service to produce accurate safety advice for our residents.’