In Regina we have one investigator on call at all times. We receive $10 a day for weekdays, $25 a day for weekends and stats. We are on call for one week at a time. We switch the on call on Mondays, unless it is a long weekend. In that case the person on call over the weekend remains on call for the Monday and we switch on Tuesday. If a fire comes in over the weekend and the investigator is not called out, the fire investigator taking over Monday follows up on the investigation.
Typically we do not investigate during the night. We will attend scene to gather information from owner/occupants, neighbours, etc. We will speak with the crews to find out the fire fighting tactics, observations, etc. We then call city facilities to board up the scene. A bill is sent to the owner for the board up costs.
There are some areas for improvement in our system. We need to figure out a better way to alleviate the ongoing stress on busy weeks. This is a timely conversation, as our investigator on call this week has been called out to house fires every night, and there were two garage fires during the day. Unfortunately, last night there was a fatality. He still has the weekend. It makes for long days and nights. I’ll offer to take the weekend, but he may not accept.