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Conference

The Twenty-fourth Annual Fire Investigators Training Conference will be held March 20 - 22, 2015 at the Stoney Creek Inn in East Peoria, IL. All classes are tested and sanctioned by the Illinois Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators.

Exams for the IAAI-CFI program may be available if setup with the International office in advance. Visit the IAAI Illinois Chapter's website at www.il-iaai.com for more information.

Registration Information

Advanced registration: $115 (Must be postmarked by March 14, 2015)

At-the-door registration: $125

All members of CIFIA/IAAI and arson investigation organizations receive a $5 discount.

Schedule

Friday, March 20, 2015
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Registration
1:30 - 4:00 p.m. Flashover Fires — Live Burn  (No need for turnout gear – observation only)
Mike Deckelmann – Chicago Fire Department, Office of Fire Investigation, Retired
6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Flashover Fires — Classroom Instruction
Mike Deckelmann – Chicago Fire Department, Office of Fire Investigation, Retired
9:30 p.m. - Midnight Hospitality Room
Saturday, March 21, 2015
7:30 - 8:30 a.m. Registration
7:45 - 8:00 a.m. Opening Remarks
8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Legal Aspects of Investigations, Sharing Information
David Perkins – Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen
9:00 a.m. - Noon Proving the Cause: Beyond the Basics
John Reagan, PE – Schaefer Engineering, Inc.
Will Truss, PE – Schaefer Engineering, Inc.
Noon - 1:00 p.m. Lunch (provided)
1:00 - 4:30 p.m. Using 921 to Convict an Arsonist —
A Case Study of the April 21, 2010 Fatal Fire
on University Avenue in Peoria, IL

Philip Maclin – Division Chief, Peoria Fire Department
Brad Pierson – Arson/Fire Investigator, Peoria Fire Department
Peoria County State's Attorney's Office
5:00 p.m. - Midnight Hospitality Room
Sunday, March 22, 2015
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. The SIU's Perspective of the Fire Investigation
Thomas Wegner – SIU State Farm Insurance
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Open Discussion on Trending Topics of Fire Investigation
Roundtable/Panel Discussion with
Steve Mason – Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office, Arson Investigator
Robert Nodine – Country Financial Insurance, Claims Department
Vickie Schaefer – McLean County Sheriff's Department, Investigator, Retired
11:45 a.m. Conference Adjourned

Certificates will be available after the conclusion of the Sunday session.

Instructors/Courses

Flashover Fires
Mike Deckelmann

Mr. Deckelmann entered the fire service on March 8, 1962 as a Volunteer Firefighter and on April 1, 1967 he joined the Chicago Fire Department. In 1979, with the rank of Fire Engineer, he was requested to take a detail to the Chicago Fire Academy to instruct Fire Engineers and Paramedic Drivers in emergency driving. In May of 1980, now with the rank of Lieutenant, he was again requested to the Fire Academy to take a full assignment as an Instructor. In March of 1984, Mr. Deckelmann requested his first transfer to the newly formed Office of Fire Investigation (OFI) and was accepted. He retired from the CFD in September of 2003 with the rank of Captain and the position of Commander in the Office of Fire Investigation and Training Officer. He continued in the Fire Service with the North Palos Fire Protection District in the MABAS Division 21 Fire Investigators.

Over the years Mr. Deckelmann has instructed all around the state for the Illinois Fire Service Institute, is a long time member of Illinois Chapter and the International Association of Arson Investigators, has attended 20-plus International Conferences, and served on the International T & E Committee. He has instructed in Masssachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Wisconsin, and five times in Alaska.


Legal Aspects of Investigations, Sharing Information
David Perkins – Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen

Mr. Perkins is the chair of Heyl, Royster's Arson, Fraud, and First Party Property Claims Practice Group. He also concentrates his practice in the areas of general tort litigation, civil rights, and municipal liability.

He authors a quarterly column for the Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly, the official journal of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel and has also co-authored a chapter in the Property Insurance Handbook for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Mr. Perkins has spoken on a wide variety of subjects, including the investigation of fire losses, first party property claims, civil rights liability, and municipal liability.

Prior to joining Heyl, Royster, he served as a law enforcement officer for seven years. During that time, he attended the Police Training Institute at the University of Illinois, as well as the Traffic Institute at Northwestern University. He graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law and joined Heyl, Royster in 1987.

Mr. Perkins has been awarded the AV preeminent designation from Martindale Hubbell. He has been selected as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois in 2014 and 2015, in the areas of governmental, municipal, and personal injury defense. Only 5% of lawyers in the state are named as leading lawyers.

He has also been named as an Illinois Super Lawyer for 2013, 2014, and 2015. The Super Lawyer selection process is based on peer recognition and professional achievement. Only 5% of lawyers in each state earn this designation.


Proving the Cause: Beyond the Basics
John Reagan, PE and Will Truss, PE – Schaefer Engineering, Inc.

Many fire investigations head in a direction where the finger is pointed at a consumer product. Unfortunately, it is common for some experts to jump to conclusions that a product was responsible for a fire, with little support as to “how” and “why” the product was responsible. This presentation will show how to prove the circumstances, conditions, or agencies that brought about or resulted in the fire or explosion incident as required by NFPA 921. Schaefer Engineering will discuss the how and why necessary for a complete and thorough analysis of the cause.

Mr. Reagan has been working in the field of electrical engineering for over 30 years. He has an Associates Degree in Engineering Science and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. Additionally, he is an IAAI Certified Fire Investigator and a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator with NAFI. Mr. Reagan has been working in the field of forensic investigations for 15 years and has personally investigated over 1600 fires and overseen the investigation work of other engineers on over 3000 fires. He has provided testimony in many State and Federal court cases, and has participated in criminal prosecution for arson. Mr. Reagan was appointed to an NFPA task force on electrical arcing and participated in the authoring of the 2014 Edition of NFPA 921.

Mr. Truss has been working in the field of electrical engineering for over 25 years. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering. Additionally, he is a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator with NAFI. Mr. Truss has been working in the field of forensic investigations for over 10 years and has investigated over 1000 fires, evaluating consumer products and electrical systems. He has provided testimony in many State and Federal court cases.


Using 921 to Convict an Arsonist —
A Case Study of the April 21, 2010 Fatal Fire on University Avenue in Peoria, IL

Philip Maclin – Division Chief, Peoria Fire Department
Brad Pierson – Arson/Fire Investigator, Peoria Fire Department
Peoria County State's Attorney's Office

Jealousy. Anger. Murder. A case study of a raging incendiary fire which viciously claimed four lives in Peoria, Illinois. The focus of this case study will be an in-depth analysis of the scientific method and the prosecutorial approach utilized in obtaining a conviction in this case.

Chief Maclin and Arson Investigator Pierson are members of the Peoria City Fire Department with many years of fire suppression and fire investigation experience. They partnered with the Peoria City Police Department detectives to investigate and apprehend the subject who was later prosecuted by the Peoria County State's Attorney’s Office. This is a unique opportunity to see the case from the perspective of the investigators and the State’s Attorney’s office.


The SIU's Perspective of the Fire Investigation
Thomas Wegner – SIU State Farm Insurance

Mr. Wegner comes from a law enforcement background having served as a police officer for 12 years in a municipality just outside Chicago. After that time, he pursued a career in the private sector in the insurance industry. Mr. Wegner was hired by a major insurer in 1992 working in Auto Property Damage claims, before moving to a position in the company’s Auto Special Investigative Unit (SIU) handling auto theft and auto fire claims. He remained in that position for four years before moving to his current role as a Claim Specialist in Fire SIU, handling structure fires and other complex claims.

Mr. Wegner holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Xavier University. He is involved in many industry organizations and is currently serving as President of the Illinois Chapter-International Association of Arson Investigators (IL-IAAI) which he has been a member of for just over 15 years. During that time he has achieved his Certified Fire Investigator designation from the IAAI. Mr. Wegner has taught classes for IFSI, College of DuPage, Illinois Technical Training Institute, as well as numerous presentations to MABAS divisions and other fire investigation groups both in the public and private sector.


Disclaimer: No liability is assumed by the Central Illinois Fire Investigators Association for changes in program content, speakers, or venue. The speakers presentation and content of program are the responsibility of the individual instructors and not necessarily endorsed by any of the persons or organizations associated with this seminar.

Hotel Information

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Stoney Creek Inn
101 Mariners Way
East Peoria, IL 61611
(309) 694-1300
(800) 659-2220

Indoor / outdoor heated pool, dry sauna, whirlpool spa, fitness center, free wireless internet and free continental breakfast.

$83 plus taxes per room per night
for reservations made before March 1, 2015.

To hold your room(s) on a guaranteed arrival basis, contact the hotel at (309) 694-1300 before March 1, 2015. Tell them you are attending the Central Illinois Fire Investigators Conference to receive the conference rate.

In the event no rooms are available at the Stoney Creek Inn by the time you register, the Par-A-Dice Hotel and the Holiday Inn Express (East Peoria) are both within easy driving distance.



Sponsors

Country Financial Insurance

FireTech, Inc.

Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Co.

Hazard, Keefe & Leane Engineering

Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen Law Office

Midwest Fire Consultant
    Schaefer Engineering

Semke Forensics

State Farm Insurance

Tremont Fire Department

Webster Mechanical Engineering

West Peoria Fire Department


Scholarship

The Miller/Grier Memorial Scholarship was established in 1991 in honor of two founding CIFIA members and State Arson Investigators, Hollis Miller and James Grier. The conference established the funding and promotes the scholarships that are offered semi-annually.


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