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Fire Investigator vs. Fire Marshall...

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#1
What is the difference in NYS between a fire investigator and a fire marshal ? Reason I'm asking is my county (95% volunteer) has fire investigators that fall under the Fire Coordinator. The other day at a structure fire, a fire investigator arrived in his POV using blue lights. All the Coordinators and Deputy Coordinators run red. I looked in the NYS VTL under emergency fire vehicle (Section 115) and it lists fire marshal. Is it one in the same ?
 
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#2
The accepted convention for the spelling is Marshal for the position or office, and Marshall for the name.
 

Grog

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e911god said:
Just to float your boat, I corrected the spelling. It's 1am and I have fat fingers :)

Great, now I'm turned on :lol: J/K



Don't worry guys, I'm heading back south................ :D
 

GTR8000

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#6
In general, a Fire Marshal has NYS Peace Officer status, whereas a Fire Inspector does not.

Now take that with a grain of salt, as I'm sure you know how wacky NYS laws are. Every county and city and town and village does its own thing, and just reading this here section of the law, you can clearly see how many jurisdictions have their own definition of who they grant Peace Officer status to.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcode.pl?code=NY&ls=claws&law=25&art=4&frame=right2

Now as far as running red lights, again that's probably a county/town/village thing. In Rockland, some Fire Inspectors run red lights and have their own vehicles issued by the governing jurisdiction (generally true on the town and larger village level), while others have no vehicle and may or may not use red or blue lights. Some of the smaller village Fire Inspectors are also Fire Chiefs or Assistants, and might respond using their Chiefs' vehicle. It's a crapshoot, really.
 
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#7
One of the best references is free and accessible on the NYS website.

http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS
Click on :
CPL Article 2 and look for the definitions of the title you are looking for. This will give authority definition.

Now go to :
VAT Article 1 and this will bring up the VTL section on definitions and if you look through it you will be able to find who can what color lights etc.

However I believe this topic has morphed from "Investigator" to Inspector which in most cases are two different titles. EGod correct me if I'm wrong , but that is how I read it.

Most towns have Fire Inspectors to do the inspection process such as apartment complexes
etc. Fire Investigators investigate the causes of fires . These titles are different hats , however there are time when a person wears two hats.

And so this stays within the guidelines of radio related you will also be able to find who can have scanners etc in their vehicles within the VAT section commonly referred to as the VTL.

Spec
 
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#8
So far what Spec stated is the closest Ive seen , although it varies from state to state. A Fire Marshal usually oversees, different bureau's in a jurisdiction, such as Inspectors and Investigations. Inspectors are usually charged with overseeing inspections at public places, Nursing Homes,hospitals,Motels,Hotels any buildings that are in their jurisdiction and also things like underground storage tanks at gas stations, or chemical storage facilities. Investigators are charged with Investigating cause and origin of a fire, some may be armed some may not depending on the laws of the state and the certification the officer holds, most not all have to be Certified Peace officers. Some Jurisdictions may have a Fire Marshal or Fire Prevention Officer that are charged with similiar duties even thou they dont have thier own fire department, If they contract their fire service to another city or village. Hope this helps Hoser
 
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#9
Spec said:
However I believe this topic has morphed from "Investigator" to Inspector which in most cases are two different titles. EGod correct me if I'm wrong , but that is how I read it.
That's correct. I'm interested in "Investigator vs. Marshall." The individuals who determine the cause and origin of fires.
 

GTR8000

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#10
Sorry, I said the word "Inspector" just out of habit. In Rockland the waters are muddied as usual. Some jurisdictions have the Inspector act as the Investigator, and in other case the Sheriff's BCI Arson division does cause and origin determination.
 
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#13
Alarms50 said:
In the FDNY Fire Marshals are in charge of fire investigations, and they have Peace Officer status.
FDNY Fire Marshals are Police Officers in New York State.

FDNY Also employs Fire Prevention Officers, that are civilian employees with no special status.

FDNY Officers and Firefighters are Peace Officers and Police Officers when acting pursuant to their special duties.

Take all that with a grain of salt because we all do what we do, and that's what we do. None of us have red lights on our private cars (unless they are volley chiefs or Hatzolah on the side). If your needed at a scene the FDNY either gives you a car with built in lights or they send someone to pick you up. Most staff chiefs have their own department car, some complete with a driver.
 
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#14
captmfa7112 said:
Yes but they work in conjunction with NYPD's Arson Explosion Task Force.
They sometimes work in conjunction with this squad but for the most part they run their own show. The FDNY likes to keep everything in the family when they can.
 

FireMarshalRob

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#16
I might be able to jump in here and offer some assistance.

Genearally speaking, the difference between a Fire Investigator and Fire Marshal are distinct. A Fire Investigator stricitly investigates the cause and origin of a fire, where as a Fire Marshal investigates the cause and origin and does inspections and enforcement. The titile of Fire Inspector generally relates to persons hired by Fire Dpeartments who inspect buildings for fire code compliance but have no enforcement authority.

Now the above is not always the case. Throughout different parts of NYS the titiles have been diluted.

The Fire Investigator does just that, and investigates fires. You can work for private or public agencies. Mostly through upstate they have volunteer fire investigators and teams, some of who have law enforcement status (peace officer). They usually work closely with the local police to help with prosecution for criminal cases. Depending on the jurisdicition some fall under the county fire coordinator, which can authorize those persons for red light use (from what I understand).

The Fire Inspector usually works for a Fire Department doing routine fire inspections. They usually have no enforcement power and serve more of a pre-plan function for the Fire Department. Now in Nassau County, while they are called Fire Marshals you are hired under the civil service title of Fire Inspector. Nassau also has certified "assistant fire inspectors" which are appointed to work at local fire departments (which have no enforcement power).

In Suffolk County the County, Towns and Villages all employ fire marshals, which generally do investigations and enforcement. There a Fire Inspectors that work for local fire departments (no enforcement authority).

In NYC there are many levels of this as well. There is a Fire Marshals office, who are NYC Fire Fighters. By test you are appointed a Fire Marshal with police powers. They have a Bureau of Fire Investigation (BFI) that does cause and origin. They are other branches that doe inspections ans enforcement. Additionally, regualr fire fighters do routine building inspections (BI's) and there is a separate Fire Insepction unit with a separate titile and civil service test (not fire fighters or peace officers).

The NYC police department has the arson and bomd sqaud (A+E) that work with the Fire Marshals in large scale fire scenes. Generally they handle the bombings and other crimes.

Also, NYC Fire Marshals have much broader legal authority as regualr police officers to do there jobs, which is given to them by city law and charter. They also have specialized units like the Social Club Task Force.

Generally Speaking, the Fire Marshal position is a civil service test/title and is a law enforcement job.

Hope this helps some.....
 
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#17
allow me to retort:

FireMarshalRob]I might be able to jump in here and offer some assistance.
In NYC there are many levels of this as well. There is a Fire Marshals office, who are NYC Fire Fighters. By test you are appointed a Fire Marshal with police powers.

I'm assuming that you a talking about the Office of the Chief Fire Marshal, who is Louis Garcia presently. There is also a Deputy Chief Fire Marshal and many Supervising Fire Marshals. They are all FDNY employees.

To become a Fire Marshal [now] you have to hold the position of firefighter and take a promotional exam. You also have to pass a background check and Fire Marshal School. There is at least one civilian fire marshal on the job that was hired directly into the title. I believe that this practice has been changed and all future Marshals will be hired from a promotional list.


They have a Bureau of Fire Investigation (BFI) that does cause and origin.
All of the Marshals work under the auspices of the BFI. With the possible exception of Marshals detailed out to other agencies and bureaus. If they are like the rest of the FDNY then the Marshal will be permanently assigned to a command regardless of what exotic position they land.
They have many other duties besides cause and origin. It's actually a very small part of their job.



They are other branches that doe inspections ans enforcement. Additionally, regualr fire fighters do routine building inspections (BI's) and there is a separate Fire Insepction unit with a separate titile and civil service test (not fire fighters or peace officers).

You are referring to the Bureau of Fire Prevention. and I stated earlier their hired inspectors have no special status.
BI is now called BISP Building Inspection Safety Program and "most" FDNY field units are assigned two 4 hour periods a week to go out and perform these duties. There was talk of an additional third period to be added in the wake of the recent fatal fires we have had, but I think it will take quite a push to get it past the unions and the bureaucracy.



The NYC police department has the arson and bomd sqaud (A+E) that work with the Fire Marshals in large scale fire scenes. Generally they handle the bombings and other crimes.
Also, NYC Fire Marshals have much broader legal authority as regualr police officers to do there jobs, which is given to them by city law and charter.

They have exactly the same legal authority as police officers. They enjoy Police Officer status and their ID card actually says Police Officer on it. A better way to explain this is that they have additional special duties and less restriction on them.


They also have specialized units like the Social Club Task Force.

The Social Club Task Force is made up of Supervising Fire Marshals and Special Assignment Lieutenants and Captains. They are actually under the auspices of Fire Prevention. NYPD also has a Cabaret Squad with a slightly different focus.



Generally Speaking, the Fire Marshal position is a civil service test/title and is a law enforcement job.

As far as FDNY is concerned all employees are civil servants and carry titles. What you are referring to is that Fire Marshals are in what's called a uniformed title (even though they don't wear uniforms) and Fire Prevention Inspectors are in a non uniformed civilian title (even though they DO wear FDNY uniforms).



It's very confusing even for people that work here.

To keep this scanning related: you hardly ever hear the Marshals on the air, once in awhile they pick up an accident of you hear them in route to Manhattan base with "one under".

And the AM and PM roll calls now reflect the new name of the program instead of AFID.
 
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sc8

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#18
It gets confusing because there are a few of them who are volunteer fire fighters, and at least two who are full-fledged Sheriff's Deputies. It may be possible that that particular investigator was also a FF, who was using his lights from that responsibility.

On the other hand 36-100(The FI van) has RED lights, so red may technically be authorized for them as well.

Try checking under the VTL section for "peace officer" or maybe even "emergency management" since the Fire Investigators fall under the Fire Coordinator who works for OEM.
 

sc8

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#19
From the Fire Investigator Website:

The Orange County Fire Investigation Unit is an all volunteer agency made up of personnel from the fire service and law enforcement agencies and supervised by a Deputy Fire Coordinator. The unit was formed in 1981 pursuant to New York State General Municipal Law for the purpose of assisting local Fire Chiefs in determining cause and origin of fires. Upon determination that a fire is incendiary, the Fire Chief, upon recommendation of the Fire Investigator, will turn the investigation over to a law enforcement agency. At that point the Fire Investigation Unit will continue to assist the law enforcement agency in the scene investigation if requested. Fire Investigators must receive specialized training and be certified in fire investigation by the State of New York.


If they are vol. FF's they would have blue lights anyway and may be authroized under the General Municipal Law to run them as FI's. If they are LE (Deputy Sheriff's I believe are the only ones so far) They probably are authorized from that job. I know of one case from the Bigger Administration that said a Deputy can have blue lights on their POV just for being a deputy (ruled on by county court, and I believe an appelate court)
 

FireMarshalRob

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#20
SilverBK;

Allow me to reply.

I was just simply stating some basic facts and differences about Fire Marshals and Investigators. I am not a big FDNY buff so my info may be dated back to the days when Fire Marshals were assigned to BFI and all they did were investigations, back in the days of gene west.

Any way your statement;

"The NYC police department has the arson and bomd sqaud (A+E) that work with the Fire Marshals in large scale fire scenes. Generally they handle the bombings and other crimes.
Also, NYC Fire Marshals have much broader legal authority as regualr police officers to do there jobs, which is given to them by city law and charter.

They have exactly the same legal authority as police officers. They enjoy Police Officer status and their ID card actually says Police Officer on it. A better way to explain this is that they have additional special duties and less restriction on them."


This is not true. NYC Police Officers assigned to the Arson and Bomb Squad are Police Officers, and that is it.

FDNY Fire Marshals are NYC employees of the FDNY, who are granted Police Officer Status.
Where the FDNY Fire Marshals are way different is by city charter "Fire Marshals" can issue subponas and give oaths and affirimations. No other law enforcement agency or police officer can do this. This power is huge when it comes to investigative resources.

Additionally, by state and city law Fire Marshals don't need warrants to gain entry to do inspections within public areas or buildings. This is also very powerful when used in certain ways...

Just an FYI, stay safe out there.
 
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