Marine fire investigation is a specialized task which should only be undertaken by specially trained personnel. The idea that a marine vessel fire is the same as a building fire, just on the water, cannot be further from the truth. The marine fire investigator must possess many qualities, not the least of which is a good working knowledge of marine vessels, marinas and vessel operations.
The Certified Marine Fire Investigator Program (CMFI) was founded to provide an additional benefit to its members who specifically investigate marine vessel and marina fires. To accomplish this, IAMI has instituted a certification program and designated the certification as Certified Marine Fire Investigators (CMFI). IAMI contemplated advanced certification programs as part of its future expansion which shall be designated as CMFI. Obtaining these certifications shall not be an easy task.
The CMFI designation(s) shall be limited to members in good standing who have attained and held the IAMI CMI designation for at least one year prior to applying for the CMFI. The designee shall have experience and/or training in a wide range of areas including, but not limited to, the detection, prevention and investigation of vessel related thefts adjusting vessel related insurance claims, marine surveying, admiralty law as it is related to recreational vessel, Origin and cause of fires, marine insurance policy interpretation, accident reconstruction, matters related to hull construction and the operation and repair of motors, and the like. The applicant for the IAMI – CMFI shall hold a designated Fire Investigator certification form recognized state certification program or a certifying organization or association (NAFI – CFEI or IAAI – CFI).
Certified Marine Fire Investigators have demonstrated through rigorous examination their experience and training. In addition to their own area(s) of expertise, they bring a new dimension and insight into their respective fields of endeavor. From the beginning of a vessel fire or vessel explosion and the filing of an insurance claim, the CMFI will be positioned to provide a complete and through investigation and analysis.
The CMFI will be able to assist in defining the origin and cause of a fire, gathering evidence, taking statements, write reports, provide testimony, and otherwise assist the marine industry.
The certification program shall be under the supervision and direction of the CMI Committee as directed by the IAMI Board of Directors and as stated herein.
The Committee shall be responsible for overseeing the application process, preparation, proctoring and grading the examination, revocation and suspension of certifications, enforcing continuing professional education requirements, recertification, and such other matters as from time to tie the Board of Directors may specify.
The IAMI Certified Marine Fire Investigation Study Guide based upon the current editions of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA®) 921 Guide for Fire and Explosions. Investigations, NFPA® 1033 Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator, other marine fire related NFPA Standards and Guides, American Boat and Yacht Council Standards and Technical Information Reports for Small Craft, and various Code of Federal Regulations.
It is important that the fire investigator have a basic understanding of vessel fire safety guidelines, as well as basic understanding of vessel regulations and operations, construction methodology and materials, fire protection requirements and recommendations and the safety needs for the fire investigator and environment.
The CMFI program is not designed to certify the student as a fire investigator. The Study guide and IAMI instruction are designed to provide the fire investigator with a basic knowledge specific to building a background of technical information to become a fire investigator of marine vessels, marinas, and other maritime related equipment. At this time the student shall have completed an accredited Fire Investigator Certification course that meets the NFPA 1033 Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator.