Message From the President
Welcome to the home page of the Fire Investigators of Florida, the 9th Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators. My name is Kerry Barnett. I was in the public sector for nearly 27 years, with many of those years being involved with investigations and inspections. I retired in 2014 from the public sector to operate my own consulting company. I have held multiple positions on the Board from Secretary thru the President for almost 14 years. It has and is an honor to serve all of you as the President of the Fire Investigators of Florida.
Now sitting in my 4th year as President it gives me time to reflect on the past. A lot has happened since taking over. We have changed our name to better reflect what our membership actually consists of, reduced the number of positions within the board to be both more cost and operationally efficient, obtained our 501 C 3 status to allow our sponsors who support us to have a tax deduction, as well as, allow us to save during our educational programs that are held annually, now have on-line registration and testing for our annual training conference, implemented a new website, added the Larry Weintraub Scholarship, able to receive CEU’s for taking the IAAI’s online CFI Trainer modules, partnering with the IAAI for regional training, and continue to increase membership. These changes are in part, due to our hard working board listening to the membership and implementing some of their ideas that essentially will enhance the overall organization. As a president, I am very proud of our Board and organization’s accomplishments.
The Fire Investigators of Florida have also continued to be a major part of the International (IAAI). Our Past President, William “Bumper” Moylan, has continued Florida’s tradition of having a representative on the IAAI Board. Bumper became a director a few years ago and now is in-line to be the International President in 2018. He has represented Florida and the membership of the International very well and continues to always strive in making both organizations better.
Benefits within the organization also have remained in place and the organization continues to look at how we can continue to provide more while still keeping the cost of the membership down. As a member you still receive a reduced training price versus non-members, a $5,000 Accidental Death Benefit Fund, and the ability to vote on Chapter business, CEU’s for online training and even the availability to run for office. If you feel like you don’t want to be that involved but would still like to assist, consider being on a committee. The Chapter is always seeking assistance within the organization. If you are interested in being part of a committee, such as; training & education, annual seminar, membership, awards, etc… go to our contact page and give one of us a call.
Finally, I and the Board would like to hear from you, whether positive or negative. It is important to us that we are meeting your needs as a member of the Fire Investigators of Florida. Remember your Board volunteers their time and dedication to this organization, therefore if negative; please respond in a professional way. It is a way to measure ourselves in ensuring we are doing our job the way it needs to be done. Remember, some of the changes made were comments from the membership.
In closing, seek education, grasp a hold of the science, gain experience and then apply it. Don’t be afraid to go back and refresh. As Winston Churchill once stated, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Thanks for being a member and I hope to see you soon at a Chapter event!