New Fire Investigator
By Past Fire Chief Christopher Taylor
October 10, 2023

Congratulations to Lieutenant Stephen Davis for successfully completing an intense three week FIRE INVESTIGATOR course at the New York State Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls, New York. This extensive hands-on course provides in-depth knowledge and skills necessary to thoroughly investigate fires from fire scene to the courtroom as outlined in NFPA 921. It includes fire dynamics, motives, scene documentation, evidence, case preparation and testimony. Students engage in a hands-on investigation that includes investigating, documenting and collecting evidence from a fire scene, conducting background checks, interviewing witnesses, case preparation, and testifying at a mock trial in a court setting in front of a judge. The course also includes both a New York State Certification Test and the Pro Board Fire Investigator National Certification Test.

Prior to the three week residential course, Lieutenant Davis successfully completed two on-line prerequisite fire investigation training courses. In order to receive his New York State certification he will complete fifty (50) hours of fire investigations in the field under the supervision of a certified investigator. In order to maintain his certification, he must complete twelve (12) hours of annual tested training related to the fire investigation field and twelve (12 ) hours of fire investigations in the field.

Lieutenant Davis will become a member of the St. Lawrence County Fire Investigation Team continuing a long tradition of members from the Potsdam Fire Department providing assistance and their expert knowledge to other departments across the county in determining the origin and cause of the fires in their jurisdictions. Stephen also serves in a full time capacity as a Potsdam Police Officer and will expand the in-house fire investigation capabilities of that agency.

Special thank you to his family and the Potsdam Police Department for supporting Officer Davis in this new role and allowing him the opportunity to enhance the fire investigation resources for the Village of Potsdam and St. Lawrence County.