Forensic science students help South Yorkshire fire investigators

left to right - Bobbie-Jay Slack and Victoria Moss
left to right - Bobbie-Jay Slack and Victoria Moss

Fire investigation in South Yorkshire could become more advanced thanks to a new partnership between the county’s fire service and two universities.

Two fire investigators of the future - students on leading forensic science degree courses - are spending a year with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue learning how present day investigators work and hoping to share some of the latest developments in the field.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has offered the two students - from Sheffield Hallam University and Nottingham Trent University - one year work placements to offer them practical experience of how to determine the cause of a fire.

It is hoped the students will share their knowledge.

Bobbie-Jay Slack, aged 20, from Sheffield and Victoria Moss, also 20, from Nottingham Trent, will both be shadowing a fire investigation officer to the scenes of blazes to help determine the most likely causes.

Fire investigation officer Andy Strelczenie, said: “This is a mutually beneficial partnership. Victoria and Bobbie will be valuable assets to us, as during their placements, they will be undertaking research and testing work on behalf of the fire service.

“This work will assist with determining why fires start, and importantly the conditions which lead to the ignition of a wide range of probable causes discovered at the scene of a fire.”

Victoria said: “I am hoping to gain experience that will help me with my studies. I have already found myself using all the things I have learnt so far. It’s given me even more passion for my subject and has confirmed in my mind that this is a career I would love to do everyday.”

Bobbie-Jay added; “I am really happy to be working with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and to have this opportunity to be getting my hands dirty while investigating real scenes of fire.”