RURAL Arson Control
ments. Reinforcements could include the appointment of a county fire marshal or administrator to monitor this responsibility, making cause determination a part of every training program for promotional qualification, and making reporting of suspicious fires to the appropriate enforcement agency mandatory.
Each department should maintain constant round of training programs to reinforce the message. This may require utilizing assistance from state agencies, colleges, manufacturers of fire detection apparatus, insurance companies, etc. for materials and other resources. Two related suggestions are:
Reprint the “Arson Control Guide for Volunteer Fire Departments” (FA- 51 January 1981). It is an excellent resource document that deserves far- wider dissemination. Reprinting thisguide (and perhaps preparing alow- cost pamphlet to advertise its features) appears warranted.
Encourage state fire marshal offices to distribute the “Arson Control Guide for Volunteer Fire Departments” to newly-appointed/elected fire chiefs in rural areas.
Fire Officers in Arson Control
Upgrade the capability of rural fire officers to contribute to the arson control process.
Fire officers of rural departments would be more motivated to contribute to arson control if they were given training and some basic reference materials.
Rural departments must rely on a number of personnel to perform the chief officer role at the fireground. Many of these officers may not have received sufficient training nor have had enough experience to correctly judge the cause of a fire.
Officers in rural departments need to be motivated if they are to be expected to carry out sound cause determination practices. Many officers remarked that their motivation would increase if the conviction rate for arson cases increased. Others pointed to the disincentive of having to lose time from their primary jobs to testify in court.
Control Expert Disagree 1
Minnesota Statute 299F.051 provides for $35.00 per day plus expenses to volunteers for time spent in attending fire investigation training courses, when they attend with a law enforcement officer from their community.