DRILL OF THE MONTH INSTRUCTOR GUIDE. Teaching/Learning Materials: LCD and laptop for PowerPoint slides

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1 DRILL OF THE MONTH INSTRUCTOR GUIDE Title: CRIME / FIRE SCENE INVESTIGATION Time Required: 1-2 Hours Teaching/Learning Materials: LCD and laptop for PowerPoint slides References: Arson Detection for the First Responder Student Manual, August 2002 Basic Disaster Life Support Course Manual 3.0 Fundamentals of Firefighting Skills, 3 rd Edition Motivation: With recent trends in crime occurring in the United States and around the globe, it is more important than ever that Fire and EMS personnel be able to identify and understand potential hazards and threats. Because of the many potential situations, it is also important to look for dangers to protect other personnel and bystanders from harm, as well as preserve evidence. Student Performance Objective: Given information, resources, and opportunity for discussion and practice, at the completion of this session participants will be able to define the three components of the evidence triangle, identify common hazards associated with crime/ fire scenes, and know the different types of evidence and the determinations that can be made from different types of evidence. Enabling Objectives Define evidence. Describe the components of the evidence triangle. List the different types of evidence. State actions and precautions to take when managing a possible crime scene. Identify the determinations that can be made from different types of evidence. Explain the responsibilities of FIRE / EMS personnel in an investigation and the preservation of evidence Overview: I. Crime Scene : Definition 1. Location where a crime occurred including the line of approach and flight path of the suspect(s) II. Types of Crime Scenes 1. Primary Scene Location of the first criminal act 2. Secondary Scene Any crime scene(s) associated with the primary scene

2 III. The Evidence Triangle 1. Three parts The scene, the Actor (or perpetrator) and the Victim(s) 2. All parts are inextricably connected IV. Locard s Exchange Principle 1. When two objects come into contact, there is always a transfer of material from one to another V. Major Functions at a Crime / Fire Scene 1. Overall Coordination a. Incident Command (NIMS) b. Ensures continuous flow of information between team members c. In most cases, will involve some form of unified command d. Evaluates potential safety issues e. Efficient allocation of resources 2. Technical Services a. Identification b. Documentation c. Packaging d. Transportation 3. Investigative Services a. Includes a variety of investigative functions 1. State Fire Marshal 2. Maryland State Police 3. Local Bureaus of Investigation 4. BATF 5. FBI 6. DHS 7. County Sheriff 8. Local Fire Department VI. General Crime / Fire Scene Procedures 1. Arrival and Approach a. Consider potential threats before you arrive 1. Is there a pre-plan? 2. Are other clues present? 3. Were there any delays intentionally set up, such as abandoned vehicles, downed trees, etc.?

3 4. Are there multiple fire locations? 5. Are there suspicious persons hurriedly leaving the scene? b. Upon arrival, determine the nature of the situation c. Stabilize the scene d. Is there a crime in progress? e. Was there a prior crime and the fire is a cover-up f. Is the scene secure? g. Are there hazards that can inhibit or harm first responders? h. Assist any victim(s) 2. Secure and Protect Scene a. Preserve physical evidence 1. Unless necessary, don t touch anything 2. Call in specialists if necessary 3. Use barrier tape to secure perimeter 4. Post guards at access points if needed b. Only essential personnel allowed c. Maintain an Entry Log 1. What is an Entry Log? 2. Why is it important? 3. If someone has need to enter, they may require an escort d. OIC controls access e. Chain of Custody 3. Conduct a Preliminary Survey 4. Communicate with OIC and Outside Agencies a. Communicate anything you feel important to the OIC ASAP b. Notify law enforcement or other agencies in deemed appropriate c. Contact the Medical Examiner if death(s) involved 5. Document the scene a. Never touch, change or alter anything until it has been documented, identified and photographed 1. Fire scene if anything looks suspicious or looks out-of-place 2. Accident scene fatal or near fatal 3. Crime scene don t move items near patient unless absolutely necessary for patient care. b. Keep in mind that you may be called to testify at some point in the future about your initial observations you are the first one to see the scene. 6. Conduct a Final Survey of the scene 7. Release the scene VII. Hazards Associated with Crime / Fire Scenes

4 1. Types of Hazards a. Chemical 1. Consider the possibility of terrorism 1. Blister Agents 2. Nerve Agents 2. Clandestine drug labs 3. Explosives 4. Gases b. Biological 1. Again, Consider the possibility of terrorism 1. Airborne transmission 2. Direct Physical Contact 2. Examples: 1. Anthrax 2. Ricin 3. Smallpox c. Nuclear 1. Nuclear Explosion 1. Blast Injuries 2. Thermal Injuries 2. Dirty Bomb 1. Radiation Toxicity 2. Conventional explosive with radioactive material d. Structural 1. Collapse 2. Electrical e. Secondary Fires or Explosions VIII. Types of Evidence 1. Real a. Real evidence = Physical Evidence b. Evidence you can actually touch c. Evidence that is able to be retrieved at the scene 2. Demonstrative a. Defined as evidence that demonstrates the situation of the scene 3. Direct a. Defined as the facts of the scene or evidence directly related to the scene 4. Circumstantial a. Defined as coincidence more likely than not

5 5. Physical a. Any tangible object that can establish that a crime has been committed or provide a link between the crime its victim(s) and its actor or perpetrator. b. Examples: 1. DNA 2. Fluids 3. Organic 4. Fruits of the Crime c. Value: 1. Establish the elements of the crime 2. Provide investigative leads 3. Identify suspect(s) link to victim and/or the scene 4. Provide for expert testimony in court 5. Exonerate the innocent 6. Induce a confession from suspect(s) 7. Only 5% of Evidence is Physical 6. Intangible 7. Testimonial a. Defined as written or oral assertion offered as proof of truth in court b. 95% of evidence is Testimonial Summary: Student Performance Objective: Given information, resources, and opportunity for discussion and practice, at the completion of this session participants will be able to define the three components of the evidence triangle, identify common hazards associated with crime/ fire scenes, and know the different types of evidence and the determinations that can be made from different types of evidence. Review: Definition o Provide a definition of a Crime Scene Name some Crime / Fire Scene Hazards o Chemical o Biological o Nuclear o Collapse o Secondary Fires or Explosions Describe the types of evidence

6 o Real o Demonstrative o Direct o Circumstantial o Intangible o Testimonial What is Locard s Exchange Principle Actions and Precautions o What are general actions and precautions to take at a crime or fire scene o What are your responsibilities as first-responding personnel? Protecting the scene Protecting and preserving evidence Evidence retrieval Observation Maintaining scene security

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