Fire chief Thomas Manglona and nine other arson investigators completed Tuesday a 64-hour fire investigator training conducted by the International Association of Arson Investigators.
The training lasted eight days at the CNMI Office of Homeland Security Training Center on Capital Hill.
International Association of Arson Investigators past president Rodney J. Pevytoe and board member George A. Codding later issued certificates to the 10 firefighters as fire investigator technicians.
Aside from Manglona, the other participants were Lt. Kevin Aldan and firefighters Stanley Santos, Juan Climaco Laniyo, Nadia Saralu, Francisco Iginoef, Norman Skilling, Patrick George, Heinz Cabrera, and Joel Hocog.
Pevytoe said the training was designed for local firefighters to learn how to refine their techniques in the investigation of fires.
Pevytoe said some fires involve criminal activity so there is a need for investigators to determine the cause of the blaze.
The International Association of Arson Investigators is a worldwide association of people who investigate fires, with the main goal of advancing the profession. They conduct a lot of training throughout the United States and other countries.
Pevytoe said he and Codding are impressed with the local arson investigators as they were enthusiastic, hardworking, and paid a lot of attention.
“I told the chief and I mean this.I will take anyone of these guys back to the States with me and I would love to work with them,” he said.
Manglona said the training was made possible through one of the fire grants that they applied for.
“One of the things that we want to look at is.to improve or refine our techniques and skills,” Manglona said.
He said the course gave them a lot of information on updated investigation techniques, “.letting us know about the best practices, technology on fire investigations.”
Lt. Kevin Aldan said the training was a great learning experience and dispelled myths by providing scientific proof.
“The myths are old time beliefs from investigators and they passed it on to the next generation. Those trainers, they're here and they have to prove through science that those don't work anymore,” he said.