State Fire Marshal’s Office Gets Specialty Trucks Offering Improved Safety, Efficiency During Investigations

WARWICK, RI – The Division of the State Fire Marshal has four new specialty trucks
that designed to help fire investigators respond more quickly and efficiently to
fires, arson and explosive incidents, while also helping protect them from
contaminants after a fire or explosion.

Fire Marshal John Chartier said the 2016 Ford F-250 Super Duty four-wheel drive
pickup trucks are equipped with lights and sirens, onboard computers, truck caps and
special cargo systems designed to keep material and equipment exposed to hazardous
materials away from the passenger compartment of the vehicles. They also have
special storage compartments that can be used to segregate and preserve evidence
recovered from the scene of an investigation.

«These new trucks provide a much-needed level of protection for our fire
investigators, who routinely are exposed to potentially hazardous materials while
investigating fires and incidents involving explosives,» Marshal Chartier said.
«They also offer our inspectors the capability to respond more quickly to any scene,
regardless of weather conditions or terrain.»

Marshal Chartier said the trucks were equipped based on specifications used by the
federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to outfit vehicles for that agency’s
fire investigators. Each truck cost approximately $39,000, fully outfitted.

The Division of the State Fire Marshal has six fire investigators who respond to
approximately 250 fire investigations and 20 to 30 other incidents a year. The
investigators are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to respond to calls
from cities and towns throughout the state to investigate suspected arsons and fires
involving loss of life, serious injury or large property losses, as well as fires in
buildings that are owned or licensed by the state. They also enforce the state Fire
Code, as well as all arson and explosives statutes.

Their new trucks have cargo storage systems designed to segregate tools and
equipment that may be contaminated after being used for fire and explosive
investigations. They also have locking slide-out drawers, providing easy access to
and secure storage of tools and investigative equipment. These drawers also enable
investigators to secure evidence collected at the scene that may be needed for
criminal prosecutions.

Each vehicle is also equipped with emergency lights and sirens, as well as onboard
computers that allow investigators immediate access to local, state, and federal law
enforcement data bases.

«These new vehicles greatly enhance our ability to safely and efficiently provide
investigative services for fire, arson and explosive incidents throughout the
state,» Marshal Chartier said.