Arson Awareness Week

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National Fire Academy (NFA) Training

A juvenile firesetter intervention specialist working with a young girl.

A juvenile firesetter intervention specialist works directly with juveniles, conducting interviews to determine an appropriate intervention strategy.

In 2000, the NFPA added a Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Specialist component to the existing Fire and Life Safety Educator 1035 Standard. This professionalization of the Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Specialist led to many state and local organizations addressing the position and, in many cases, the problem of juvenile firesetting for the first time.

The USFA's NFA developed the Juvenile Firesetter Specialist Intervention curriculum as a result of this emerging standard. The NFPA 1035 standard was revised in 2005 and again in 2010. The NFA courses were revised accordingly reflecting the changes in the NFPA 1035 standard.

The Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Professional Standard, like many NFPA Professional Standards, is divided into sections. Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Professional I is for the individual that will work directly with the juvenile and conduct the interview and implement the appropriate intervention strategy. Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Professional II is for the individual that will coordinate juvenile firesetting intervention program activities and often manage the program.

Youth Firesetting Prevention and Intervention (R629)

This 6-day NFA course provides students with knowledge and skills necessary to identify children and adolescents involved in firesetting. The course addresses how to establish programs to meet the needs of these youths and their families. Skills essential to meet the Juvenile Firesetting Intervention Professional Standard, which is part of NFPA 1035, are discussed and practiced throughout the course. Read the course description »

The course framework guides practitioners through the process of developing a comprehensive strategy to combat the misuse of fire and incendiary devices by juveniles. The course focuses on how identification, intake, screening, disposition, and followup are used to mitigate youth firesetting behavior. It also empowers students with knowledge on how to develop, implement, and evaluate a youth firesetting prevention and intervention program. Students visit a local residential treatment program for youth firesetting.

Coffee Break Training

National Fire Incident Reporting System: Arson and Juvenile Firesetter Module

Data are an indispensable tool in the war against arson. The ability to identify when and where the crime takes place, what form it takes, and the characteristics of its targets and perpetrators is crucial. Armed with such information, fire service and law enforcement agencies can develop and implement arson prevention initiatives, allowing them to use their resources in the most efficient and effective manner.

The National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) 5.0 Arson Module (NFIRS-11) was developed and released in 1999 with this goal in mind.

The optional Arson Module may be used whenever the cause of ignition (NFIRS-2 E1) is coded as "intentional," or as "under investigation" without a distinction as to whether or not a crime has occurred, or a determination of criminal intent. The Arson Module can also be used in cases where the cause is "undetermined after investigation."

In addition, the Arson Module can be used to document juvenile-set fires, whether determined to be intentional, unintentional, or under investigation. This information will permit analysis of juvenile firesetting trends, including intervention strategies and repeated activity.

The Arson Module consists of two parts: a local investigation module, which permits a fire department or arson investigation unit to document certain details concerning the incident; and a juvenile firesetter section, which identifies key items of information that could be used for local, state, and national intervention programs.

The NFIRS Arson Module is not intended to replace arson information management systems used by fire and law enforcement units, but to identify data elements that could be exported to the NFIRS and be included as an integral part of the USFA National Fire Database and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fire and Explosives (ATF) National Repository.

For more information on the Arson and Juvenile Firesetter Module, see Unit 11 of the NFIRS 5.0 Self-Study Course (Q494) and Chapter 13 of the NFIRS Reference Guide (PDF, 7.0 Mb).