top of page


LOCATION: Ocean City Fire Department Headquarters

1409 Philadelphia Avenue, Ocean City, MD 21842

DATE/TIME: May 20-21, 2024, beginning at 8 am on both days.

On behalf of the Maryland Fire and Explosive Investigators Association (MFEIA), we are pleased to invite you to attend our upcoming two-day Spring Training Conference. This event promises to be an enlightening and enriching experience for all attendees, offering valuable insights, networking opportunities, and professional development tailored specifically for fire and explosive investigators. This conference also presents an excellent opportunity to connect with fellow professionals, exchange ideas, and forge new collaborations within the fire and explosive investigation community.

We are honored to have distinguished presenters and experts who will share their knowledge and experiences to enhance your investigative skills and techniques. The conference agenda will feature diverse topics, including report writing, CSST and lightning concerns that contributed to LODDs, examining Wifi plugs and related devices in a fire investigation, and understanding the hazards of conducting fire investigations in biological research facilities. More details regarding the classes and the presenters are below.


May 20th

8:00 AM Reflections on You: Writing the Professional Fire Investigation Report - Steve Avato


1:00 PM CSST and Lightning: ATF LODD Analysis Utilizing Fire Dynamics Simulator, Fire Testing, and Electronic Data Sources - Adam St. John, Craig Matthews, Jeremy Neagle

4:00 PM IAAI Evidence Collection Technician (ECT) Testing. A brief review of evidence collection techniques followed by the practical testing.

May 21st

8:00 AM An Examination of Wifi (Smart) Plugs for their Recognition Potential and Associated Data - Dan Giblin


1:00 PM Arson Investigations: Understanding the Hazards in Biological Research Facilities and Biological Labs - Josh Soderberg

4:00 PM Additional ECT examinations, if needed.

The IAAI Evidence Collection Technician (ECT) test will be offered as part of the event. However, registration for the ECT is separate from the MFEIA event registration. Registration for the ECT can be completed via IAAI or using the link below:

Lunch will be provided on both days.

The registration costs to attend the courses are $100 for MFEIA members and $130 for non-members. We look forward to your participation and contribution to making the Maryland Fire and Explosive Investigators Association Spring Training Conference a success!

Register for the class below:


Hampton Inn and Suites Bayside:

4301 Coastal Hwy

Ocean City, MD21842

Phone: 410-524-6263

Rates: $99.00 night plus tax

Use MFEIA to get the best rates

Quality Inn Boardwalk:

1601 Atlantic Ave

Ocean City, MD 21842

Phone: 410-289-4401

Rates: $125.00 plus tax

Use MFEIA to get the best rates

Dunes Suites:

27th and Oceanfront

Ocean City, MD 21842

Rates: Oceanfront King Suite $149.00

Non- Oceanfront Double $89.00

Use MFEIA to get the rates



Steve is an IAAI-CFI. He retired as an ATF Supervisory Special Agent CFI in 2016 after 27 years with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. At ATF, he held numerous fire and explosion-related specialty positions, including operational, training, and supervisory roles in arson and explosive investigative groups as the ATF National Response Team Supervisor and in the ATF Certified Fire Investigator Program. He then served as a Fire Marshal Captain with the Loudoun County Virginia Fire Marshal's Office, retiring in 2022. He was selected as the IAAI Fire Investigator of the Year in 2000 for his investigation of a double fatal fire in Southeastern Pennsylvania. He now dedicates his time to mentoring and educating fire investigators.


Adam St. John has been employed by ATF for over 14 years, working as both an ATF Fire Protection Engineer and Special Agent. Adam is currently assigned as an ATF Special Agent in Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to becoming a Special Agent, Adam spent nine years at the ATF Fire Research Laboratory and on the ATF National Response team, where he conducted full-scale fire testing, testified as an expert witness in criminal court, and authored several peer-reviewed fire research papers. Adam has responded to hundreds of large-scale fire investigation scenes across the country, including multiple firefighter Line of Duty Death Investigations and ATF National Response Team Callouts. Adam has instructed on behalf of ATF both nationally and internationally and currently holds certification as an IAAI-CFI and licensed Professional Engineer in Fire Protection Engineering.


Craig Matthews has been employed with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services for 23 years. Craig had been assigned to fire suppression for approximately 10 years before being assigned to the Office of the Fire Marshal in 2011. Craig has received numerous awards, including the Bronze Medal of Valor and Firefighter of the Year. Craig currently holds the rank of Fire Captain where he supervises the Fire Investigations Division. Craig has also been an Accelerant Detection Canine handler since 2019. Craig has investigated several hundred fires during his assignment to the Fire Investigations Division. Craig has testified as an expert witness in multiple criminal cases. Craig has assisted in several firefighter Line of Duty Death Investigations in Maryland. Craig co-led the investigation into the Line of Duty Death of Lieutenant Nathan Flynn- 7005 Woodscape Drive. Craig is certified as an IAAI-CFI (V), IAAI-FIT, and IAAI-ECT.


Jeremy Neagle, P.E., CFPS, CT is an Electrical Engineer and Chief of the Engineering Section at the ATF Fire Research Laboratory located in Beltsville, MD. Previously he served as a Chief Engineer for Intertek, a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) engaged in product evaluation and certification.

He is a licensed Professional Engineer and a member of a various professional organizations. He has been a member of several national and international codes and standards development committees, including the NFPA National Electrical Code (NEC) Panel on Hazardous Locations (CMP-14).


Since 2014, Daniel has worked as a Special Agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) assigned to the Baltimore Field Division’s Arson and Explosives group. In 2019, he completed the two year ATF Certified Fire Investigator Candidate training program. Prior to his employment with ATF, Daniel served as a Deputy State Fire Marshal with the Maryland State Police, Office of the State Fire Marshal for approximately five years. Daniel graduated from the University of New Haven with dual Bachelor of Science Degrees in Fire/Arson Investigation and Fire Administration as well as a minor in Criminal Justice. In 2022, he graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Master of Science Degree in Forensic Science.


Josh Soderberg currently works for the largest Biomedical facility in the Department of Defense (DOD), where he is the Joint Safety and Environmental Office Director. In his prior positions, he has worked in the worldwide DoD Commands to perform surveillance, confirmatory analytical laboratory testing, and health hazard assessments of environmental, occupational, endemic, and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) threats in support of force protection and counter-weapons of mass destruction missions. His experience spans across, clinical research, as well as biomedical and large animal research. He has managed fire/rescue, Arson investigation, explosive safety, radiation, occupational health, industrial hygiene, environmental/chemical hygiene, select agents, and biosafety.

Become a member or register for this training online at

Please contact with any questions or concerns.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page