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  • Cal Fire Law Enforcement investigator questions

    Has anyone worked with them before? How are they? Do they have red and blue lights on thier car (do they ever pull people over) Do they go to a POST certified academy?
    Do you need to be a firefighter first?
    Do they have an internship program?

  • #2
    John, just as a suggestion, you might consider asking your question in the California section of the forums. You might get a quicker response.

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    • #3
      I went to the academy with one of their investigators, and he relayed to me that you typically must make the rank of Captain in the firefighting side of CalFire prior to even being considered for a position as an investigator. They mainly work arson investigations and occasionally do fire code compliance.

      They drive anything from unmarked cars to regular CalFire trucks. They do not pull people over because it is not anywhere near their jurisdiction to do so. They are NOT out to enforce the vehicle code, even though legally they can.

      They used to do the investigator's BASIC course, but now most of them go to whatever local academies have open positions.

      You MUST be a firefighter with a stellar track records to even be considered for one of these positions.

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      • #4
        A family friend was a CDF Fire Captain and investigator (now retired). As mentioned they do almost exclusively arson investigation. Occasionally they will get involved in natural resource stuff, "CALFIRE" is still a forestry agency as well.

        If they witness something blatant they will act to protect public safety, and they will back up other officers especially in rural areas, but arresting drunks and speeders isn't what they're about.

        Being cops isn't what most firefighters want to do, so SOMETIMES a way to get promoted to Captain is to agree to become an investigator... but you still have to have years of firefighting experience under your belt.
        Last edited by tanksoldier; 01-04-2014, 03:57 AM.
        "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

        "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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        • #5
          Is the requirement of being a Firefighter first universal?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sierra259 View Post
            I went to the academy with one of their investigators, and he relayed to me that you typically must make the rank of Captain in the firefighting side of CalFire prior to even being considered for a position as an investigator. They mainly work arson investigations and occasionally do fire code compliance.

            You MUST be a firefighter with a stellar track records to even be considered for one of these positions.
            Originally posted by John_bailey View Post
            Is the requirement of being a Firefighter first universal?
            Did you read the bolded sections above?
            My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
              Did you read the bolded sections above?
              I meant generally speaking.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by John_bailey View Post
                I meant generally speaking.
                There is a reason that years of experience is required. Fires behave the same way if you are in Arkansas as they do in California. The experience in understanding that behavior is VITAL to the work of an arson investigator. I doubt that you will find a place without such a requirement.
                You have to have a vast background in knowing with how each type of fire behaves before you understand how to tell the difference. You will only gain that understanding though years of experience FIGHTING FIRES.
                No matter where you go arson investigation is a smoke eater job that crosses into LEO work not a LEO job that dabbles in fire fighting.
                In God We Trust
                Everyone else we run local and NCIC

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by John_bailey View Post
                  I meant generally speaking.

                  I repeat------------------------did you read this

                  Originally posted by Sierra259 View Post
                  You MUST be a firefighter with a stellar track records to even be considered for one of these positions.
                  My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You have to be a Cal Fire firefighter. Climb through the ranks of Firefighter, Engineer, and then Captain. Experience with other departments outside of Cal Fire generally will not qualify you to go straight to Captain. I have a friend who just became a Cal Fire LEO and he's been with them since he was 18. He's now in his early 30s. They will assist the SOs if they need a cover unit and will make a stop if it is a threat to public safety. I suggest you contact your local Cal Fire Battalion Chief and they will point you in the right direction.

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