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The Primary mission of the California Conference of Arson Investigators is the reduction of arson through the establishment of a professional organization which will:

  • Provide, develop, and support the establishment of training, educational programs and educational materials to improve the quality of fire investigations.

  • To support and/or sponsor legislation which will improve the quality of fire investigations and reduce the incidents of arson.

  • To provide a network of coordination and information sharing for identification, apprehension, and prosecution of those responsible for the acts of arson.

  • The Primary mission of the California Conference of Arson Investigators is the reduction of arson through the establishment of a professional organization which will:

  • Provide, develop, and support the establishment of training, educational programs and educational materials to improve the quality of fire investigations.

  • To support and/or sponsor legislation which will improve the quality of fire investigations and reduce the incidents of arson.

  • To provide a network of coordination and information sharing for identification, apprehension, and prosecution of those responsible for the acts of arson.

  • The Primary mission of the California Conference of Arson Investigators is the reduction of arson through the establishment of a professional organization which will:

  • Provide, develop, and support the establishment of training, educational programs and educational materials to improve the quality of fire investigations.

  • To support and/or sponsor legislation which will improve the quality of fire investigations and reduce the incidents of arson.

  • To provide a network of coordination and information sharing for identification, apprehension, and prosecution of those responsible for the acts of arson.

  • The Primary mission of the California Conference of Arson Investigators is the reduction of arson through the establishment of a professional organization which will:

  • Provide, develop, and support the establishment of training, educational programs and educational materials to improve the quality of fire investigations.

  • To support and/or sponsor legislation which will improve the quality of fire investigations and reduce the incidents of arson.

  • To provide a network of coordination and information sharing for identification, apprehension, and prosecution of those responsible for the acts of arson.

  • Trivia

    Trivia question from April 2014

    Firefighting is a profession that requires special protective clothing.  During training and on the job we don our protective equipment without much thought as to where it came from or the history behind it.

    What do you know about the history (origin) of our firefighting protective clothing?


     

    Trivia question from March 2014

    The venerable fire hydrant

    From where does this marvelous masterpiece of firefighting equipment share its roots?  What is its history?  Where was the first known type of water supply for firefighting (specifically fire-fighting) equipment known to exist?

    Answer:

    Firefighting existed long before the fire hydrant, as we know it, existed.  It is very old.

    The first firefighting water containing devices known were from the ancient Chinese.  They had open top bronze water cisterns placed throughout the village.  These were always kept filled with water for firefighting.

    In colonial America, cisterns were also used to store water for firefighting purposes.  Cisterns were used in Louisville, Kentucky until 1861.  The city had 124 cisterns and not one fire hydrant in the city.

    Cisterns were not new.  They have been around since at least 400 BC in Lebanon.  They were used in Carthage and in Morocco.  Some of these cisterns were huge underground storage facilities, hundreds of yards long.  Cisterns are built to catch rain water or to store water placed in them.  They typically are not connected to any water system.  Cistern construction most likely peaked in the United States somewhere between 1800 and 1900. The early American cisterns were also used as storage for drinking water.

    Cisterns are still used today in earthquake prone areas of the world.  Tokyo Japan constructed huge cisterns throughout the city after the last earthquake.

    There was the first great fire in 1849, the second great fire in May 1850, then after the third great fire on June 18, 1850, the city fathers of The City by the Bay, beautiful San Francisco, funded the construction of cisterns to ensure water to fight fires throughout the city.  These cisterns proved valuable during the 1906 earthquake.  At the time of the earthquake and fire, there were 23 cisterns in San Francisco.  Today, San Francisco has 150 cisterns located throughout the city to be used for firefighting.  There is also a system in San Francisco that has 52 suction connections along the north-eastern water front which allows SFFD Fire boats to hook up and pump sea water into five manifolds connected to pipes.  This system includes an additional 200 cisterns, 1,600 hydrants and 3,900 valves.

    In early colonial America, before the advent of metal or concrete water pipes, wooden pipes were used.  When there was a fire, firefighters would dig down to the pipe, drill a hole into the wooden pipe and either scoop the water up or would have some kind of faucet and draw the water off to bucket brigades or hand pumps.  After the fire was over they would drive a wooden plug into the hole sealing it; thusly being known as a “fire plug”.  The site was marked for any possible future use.

    The Chief Engineer for the Philadelphia Water Works, Mr. Frederick Graff Sr., is reported to have had the first patent for a cast iron fire hydrant in 1801.  It was a “wet barrel” type and had a combination house/faucet outlet.  The first steamer or pumper hydrant was introduced around 1860 after the invention of the steam fire engine.  The anti-freezing, hydraulic efficiency, ease of repair issues were all known and dealt with before 1900.

    It is truly  interesting to note, that although materials have improved and some of the elements of hydrant design have been refined, both the basic form of the dry barrel and barrel fire hydrants have endured relatively unchanged since the mid 1800’s.


     

    Trivia question from February 2014

    Every fire fighter has fought a fire. Every fire investigator who has investigated a fire usually owes it to the fact there was some type of firefighting equipment on scene to extinguish the fire. Do you know where the first type of fire hose came from/was and what was the first engine used in firefighting. When did it make its appearance?

    Answer:

    As early as 400 BC, hose played a part in firefighting.  In this era, fire hose was made of ox gut.  Firefighters filled bags of water and forced it out of the ox gut hose by sitting or stomping on the bag forcing the water out.

    In 300 BC, a Greek by the name of Clesibius invented an engine; it was a water pump for extinguishing fires.  He used atmospheric pressure to fill a chamber with water.  On the down stroke, the water was forced out of the cylinder.  The engine consisted of two cylinders with a single pump shaped like an upside down “U”.

    In 1 BC, Heron, another Greek from Alexandria, improved on Clesibius’s design by adding pistons that forced water out of them by adding a rocker arm.  The rocker arm pivoted on a post.  Water was applied by ladle or other manner into the top of the apparatus and when the plunger was pushed, water squirted out. Archeologists have discovered the Romans used these engines.  Remains have also been discovered in Bolsena Italy and in Silchesler, England.

    In 6 AD, one fourth of Rome burned.  Following this fire, Emperor Augustus formed the “Vigeles”. The Vigeles was a fire service consisting of 7,000 freed slaves.  These people earned their citizenship after working for six years as a firefighter.  In 100 AD, free born men chose to work in the fire service.  By this time, there was a prestige for working in the fire department, equal to being a member in an elite military unit.  The Vigeles also received power.  If there was a suspicion that a fire existed, they could break into a home, and if arson was suspected, the homeowner could be flogged.  For 400 years the Vileges served Rome.

    After the fall of the Roman Empire, the need for firefighters and their engines ended.  It would take until the 1400’s for the fire engines and firefighters to be needed as they had been in Roman times.  The design of the fire engines was basically the same as what had been invented by Clesibius.

    Picture the early hand pump on wheels used in early America by fire departments and you can see what it looked like.


    Trivia question from January 2014 

    What was the deadliest day in American History because of fire, and where did it/they occur and what was the outcome or result of the fire(s)?

    Answer

    On Sunday October 8, 1871, the United States was going through a very dry year.  In the upper portion of the country, there had been little rainfall, approximately ¼ of the normal, winds were strong and firefighters had been fighting small forest fires all over the area.  The heat was oppressive.  The westward expansion was under way and that would have some bearing on what would occur.

    At approximately 1400 hours, Sunday October 8, 1871, the fire alarm was sounded in Holland Michigan, as night approached, the wind intensified and by midnight it had become a hurricane.  The fire will burn completely across the State of Michigan to Lake Erie and approximately 200 plus people will perish from the fire.  It is estimated that 3,900 square miles of Michigan was destroyed by fire. (Port Huron Fire of 1871)

    At approximately 1930 hours, Sunday October 8, 1871, (17 hours later) a dull roar was heard in the booming lumber town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin.  By 2100 hours, all but one small building in the town were gone.  Homes, buildings, animals and people would be seen to burst into flames.  The fire was hot enough to turn sand into glass.  The world’s largest wood wear plant was destroyed.  When it was all over, there would be an estimated 2,500 people killed by the fire and the fire would burn an area 10 miles wide and 40 miles long.  The fire would jump Green Bay Wisconsin.

    At approximately 2100 hours, Sunday, October 8, 1871, a fire was discovered and reported just behind a barn at 137 DeKoven Street, Chicago Illinois.  Firefighters exhausted from fighting a fire the day before at another location, were sent to the wrong location and by the time they arrived at the proper location the fire was well established.  This fire woud kill approximately 300 people and leave 100,000 people homeless.  The fire will burn a swath four miles long and over one mile wide through Chicago; burning homes, offices, stores and government buildings to the ground.  On November 29, 1871 a newspaper account reported that Mrs. Catherine O’leary was in bed at the time the fire was discovered and she was cleared by an investigation of any wrongdoing or starting the fire.  Michael Ahern, the reporter who originally reported that the cow had started the fire stated he had made up the story for hype.

    The Port Huron fire and the Peshtigo fires were partly caused by poor cut/slash/burn policies.  The railroad was moving west and piles of slash were left to burn.  These piles were caused when debris had been piled up along the railroad right of way.  The left over wood products from the wood working plant in Peshtigo were also listed as a problem as they were just cast outside the plant and contributed to the fire once they were ignited.  The Chicago fire still has not been determined as to the exact cause.

    As a result, approximately 3,000 plus people perished due to fire.  The number is most possibly much higher as there had been numerous loggers and lumberjacks and others in the fire area and were never accounted for.  There were six major fires burning at the same time in the same area of the country.

    The cost was:

    17,450 + Structures lost (In Chicago alone)

    17 towns destroyed or damaged (Peshtigo fire alone)

    4 million square acres destroyed (All fires)

    Lessons learned:

    Lead to new forest management programs by the federal government

    Less wasteful harvesting techniques caused by logging

    New policies in firefighting and fire prevention

    The start of modern conservation and environmental principals in the United States

    Facts:

    In Illinois, the fire will burn for at least a week and burn completely across the state to Lake Erie

    In Wisconsin, the rains came the next day and put out the fires.

    In Chicago, the rains will start on the 10th and extinguisher the fires

    The U. S. Weather Service has stated there has never been a confluence of drought, high temperature, high wind and lack of perception in this area since the great fires of Oct 8th, 1871.

     



     

    Trivia question from December 16, 2013

    Who lit the first "backfires"?

    Who lit the first “backfire” in recorded history?

    Were any safety rules or orders created for firefighter safety as a result of the first recorded backfire ignition?

    Answer:

    The first use of backfires was by the plains Indians when they had the prairie fires. Accounts of these incidents were written by James Fennimore (sp) Cooper.

    The first documented use of backfires by fire personnel was by Robert Wagner (Wag) Dodge who was a crew chief for the US Forest Service on the Mann Gulch Fire on Aug 5th, 1949. 12 smoke jumpers and a fire warden were killed as a result of this blowup and quick run of this fire estimated at 40 mph and reaching temperatures of 1500 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the firefighters had been a former paratrooper and had jumped into Bastogne during WW II.  Another was celebrating his 19th birthday. Still another was on his first day of the job.

    Wag Dodge had attempted to have the firefighters join him in the burned area, however no one did. Dodge will relate the fierceness of the wind as it picked him up several times and dropped him back onto the burned grass area he had started with some matches.

    This fire was one of the worst loss of life incidents in the history of the US Forest Service and it instituted the "10 standard firefighting orders" and the "18 situations that shout Look Out" which are still in use today. It also started the study of Fire Science and how wildland fires burn the way they do.

    Only three of the smoke jumpers emerged from the fire with no physical injuries.

    This fire was moving to the extent that it is reported to have covered 3,000 acres in ten minutes. The smoke jumpers had been on the ground for 1 hour and 45 minutes when the fire overran them.

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    Location

    1279 N. White Avenue 
    Pomona, CA 91768 
    Phone:  (909) 865-5004
    Fax (909) 865-5024 
    Monday-Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm 

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