The St Lawrence County Origin and Cause Team (O&C) is a central resource available to local fire departments and police departments upon request, with trained experts to assist in determining the origin and cause of fire and explosions that occur in their jurisdiction.
The Team is comprised of 8 New York State certified fire investigators, who are made up of personnel from the fire service and law enforcement agencies and supervised by a County Fire Coordinator. The unit was formed in 1981 pursuant to New York State General Municipal Law for the purpose of assisting local Fire Chiefs in determining origin and cause of fires.
Upon determination that a fire is incendiary, the Fire Chief, upon recommendation of the Fire Investigator, will turn the investigation over to a law enforcement agency. At that point the Fire Investigation Unit will continue to assist the law enforcement agency in the scene investigation if requested. Fire Investigators must receive specialized training and be certified in fire investigation by the State of New York.
The primary objectives of the Cause and Origin Team are:
- Establish and maintain a quality service to assist fire chiefs in the determination of the origin and cause of suspicious fires throughout the county.
- Establish and maintain standards for training and experience of police and fire professionals engaged as Origin and Cause Team members.
- Establish and maintain standardized call-out procedures and dispatches for the Origin and Cause Team
- Establish and maintain standardized reporting procedures for the Origin and Cause Team.
- To discourage and deter those persons of society who would willfully set fires for either monetary or personal reasons by providing to the proper authorities accurate information and evidence that can be used towards the arrest and conviction of those involved.
- To integrate the resources of the Fire Service and Law Enforcement agencies of St Lawrence County for mutual benefit in furthering fire prevention efforts and suppression of criminal activity.
The Origin and Cause Team works together with multiple agencies including: local police departments, local fire departments, the Office of the District Attorney, the Department of Laboratories and Research, the Office of the County Coroner, New York State Office of Fire Prevention, to name a few. Bringing together police and fire professionals trained in fire investigation results in a more team investigation. This enhances the success in determining the origin and cause of the fire, as well as the subsequent criminal investigations undertaken by local police departments.
Brain K. Sullivan Car 36
Thomas J. Conklin Car 37
Christopher R. Adams Car 11
Andrew J. Barr Car 20
Joshua J. Hunter Car 21
David J. Weitz Car 12
Gerald H. Mack Car 15
Shawn McCargar Car 24