What is an explosion investigator?

Explosion investigation is part forensic science and part investigative science; it entails a number of professionals playing different roles: firefighters, bomb experts, safety experts, private and insurance investigators.

For one to qualify to be an explosives investigator, one should enroll in a criminal justice degree program. A criminal justice degree can be a launching pad for a wide array of careers in the field of law enforcement. People who earn this degree often get jobs such as crime scene investigators and police detectives. Explosion investigation falls under the purview of crime scene investigations, and it can lead one to deal with explosion incidents and bomb incidents. Explosion cases present serious social problems due to their cruel nature on both people and property.

Skills of an Explosion Investigator

As an investigator, whether working with the police or private sector, it is important for one to develop certain skills and qualities in order to become effective on the job. In the course of investigations, one gathers information from witnesses and collects the available physical evidence. Thereafter, the explosion investigator is required to analyze the evidence. Below are a few skills and qualities that are needed in order to become an effective explosives investigator.

Interviewing and Communication Skills

Interviews are usually the cornerstone of any kind of investigation. The investigator must be able to ask clear questions and get as much information as possible. Additionally, investigators must readily recognize the gaps and discrepancies in any story and should, therefore, ask for clarifications when needed.

Control Emotions

It is important for an investigator to control his or her emotions. In many cases, one deals with issues that may arouse emotions of anger and desperation; however, allowing these emotions to take precedence may be harmful to the investigations. An investigator should be able to suppress these emotions so as to allow him or her to think critically.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Technology is often used during the investigation process; this is usually for the purpose of aiding in the investigations. The equipment used in the investigations depends on the type of investigation being carried out. It is important that one understands how to use this equipment so as to get the best results out of them. One should also have knowledge of how to properly deal with evidence that has been collected so as not to contaminate it. Contaminated evidence will not yield proper results, this may jeopardize the investigations.

Problem-solving skills and critical thinking

For an investigator to piece together all the evidence gathered, he or she must be a good problem solver. The investigator must employ critical thinking and problem-solving skills to understand what really happened. Critical thinking skills enable the investigator to see past the obvious and analyze the available evidence objectively.

Investigators must be thorough in their work, and they should conduct the process in a methodical way. They must also strive to remain calm even when under immense pressure. Despite the brutality of the scene, good investigators should approach the scene with an objective mind so as to avoid clouding their judgment.

Source: National Association of Fire Investigators