MEMBER AGENCIESMittal Steel Fire Department:
Beverly Shores Vol. Fire Department:
Boone Grove Vol. Fire Department:
Burns Harbor Vol. Fire Dept.:
Chesterton Vol. Fire Dept.:
Four Seasons Fire Force: Visit Four Seasons
Hebron Vol. Fire Dept.:
Indiana Dunes Natl. Lakeshore:
Kouts Vol. Fire Dept.: Visit Kouts Fire
Liberty Twp. Vol. Fire Dept.:
Morgan Twp. Vol. Fire Dept.:
National Steel Fire Dept.:
Ogden Dunes Vol. Fire Dept.:
Pine Twp. Vol. Fire Dept.:
Portage Fire Dept.:
Porter Vol. Fire Dept.: Visit Porter Fire
Porter County Sheriff's Police: Visit Porter County Sheriff's Dept.
Porter County Haz-Mat:
Porter County E-911 Dispatch: Visit Porter County 911
South Haven Fire Dept.: Visit South Haven Fire
Union Vol. Fire Dept.: Visit Union Fire
Valparaiso Fire Dept.: Visit Valpo Fire
Westville Vol. Fire Dept.:
Washington Twp. Vol. Fire Dept.:
For nearly two decades, Porter County has been one of the fastest growing areas in all of Northwest Indiana, and under Indiana Statute, every fire that occurs must be reported to the Office Of The State Fire Marshal.
As the population of the county grew, so did the number of fires that were taking place each year. Some of the departments in the county did an excellent job of origin and cause investigation and reporting, but unfortunately some department did a less than acceptable job. In most cases, this was because nobody in the department was properly trained to conduct the investigation.
In the fall of 1997, a group of Indiana Certified Master Fire Investigators approached the Porter County Fire Association with the concept of forming a Fire Investigation Strike Team. Every emergency agency in the county has an equal voice in the matters of the Association, and it was felt that a dedicated team to determine fire origin and cause would serve two purposes. The team would provide trained investigators to those departments that did not have one, and would serve to assist any department who's resources were overwhelmed by a major fire. When the Association gave it's support, the F.I.S.T. was officially born.
Services are provided to any agency requesting assistance. The only cost to member agencies are for refreshments, and possibly a tank of fuel for the team's Mobile Investigation Unit. A finished report is presented to the agency being assisted upon completion of the investigation. If during the course of an investigation evidence that a crime has been committed is identified or suspected, the local law enforcement agency is contacted and the team then works in conjunction with law enforcement to complete the investigation.
The team operates with no public funding of any kind. All equipment used has either been donated by local merchants or belongs to members of the team. In January of 1999, the South Haven Volunteer Fire Department donated a used ambulance to the team, which was used as a mobile investigation unit. In the summer of 2002 the Lake Eliza Volunteer Fire Department donated a used van after the team found out that it would cost more to repair the vehicle donated in 1999 than the unit was worth. When that vehicle simply wore out in the spring of 2005 the department was able to purchase a used rescue unit at a very nominal cost from Union Fire-Rescue which is stil in service today.
Since the inception of the team, our effectiveness has been proven to almost every agency in Porter County at least once. The team has also been activated to provide assistance in neighboring counties, and has worked with investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Today, the Porter County F.I.S.T. Team stands ready to assist any area department needing help with the determination of the orign and cause of a fire occuring within their jurisdiction.
MORE ABOUT THE TEAMFIST MEMORIAL PAGE: "Never Forgotten"
INVESTIGATIONS: Team Activity
INVESTIGATORS: Meet Our Investigators
TECHNICIANS: Meet Our Technicians
MOBILE INVESTIGATION UNIT: View Unit #4757
TEAM NEWS: What The Team Is Doing
FIST SUPPORT: Help From Friends