The Fire Marshal's Office is directed by the Deputy Chief who holds the title of "Fire Marshal". This Office has the responsibility of investigating the origin and cause of all fires in the City. The investigators from the Fire Marshal's Office also work closely with other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to develop criminal cases for prosecution. The experience gained from investigations becomes an integral part of the public safety programs presented by the Fire Prevention Division.
Accelerant Detection Canine Program
The Philadelphia Fire Department has been an active participant in this program since April 16, 1994, when the first canine "Gentry" was placed into service. In addition to the Philadelphia Fire Department responses, the current canine - "Porsche" - also responds to assist other agencies in the tri-state area.
The "Accelerant Detection Canine Program" was initiated as a result of a feasibility study by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) forensic chemist, Richard Strobel, and ATF dog trainer Robert Knoll. The study concluded that a canine could be conditioned to differentiate between accelerants and similar chemical gases normally present at a fire scene. Therefore, the canine could become an extremely effective investigative tool for solving arson crimes.
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