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Nevada DECA Interview Series - Trina Jiles

1.Could you describe your typical workday as a Fire Investigator?

A typical day for a Fire Investigator includes working a 24 hours shift at the fire station, Station 19. We sleep at the fire station and respond to fire calls as necessary. While on the fire scene, we typically interview witnesses, analyze fire patterns to determine where the fire started, collect evidence as needed, and make arrests for Arson if necessary. We are all Evidence Collection Technician certified and Peace Officer Standard Training (Police Officers) certified.

2.What preparation, in addition to education, would you recommend for someone who would like to advance in this field?

If a person is interested in the Fire Investigation Field; he/she must fire become a firefighter for six years and promote through department testing. If a person is interested in becoming a firefighter; he/she should increase their appeal by becoming EMT certified, preferably EMT-Paramedic, which I also hold those credentials.

3.What parts of your job do you find the most challenging?

The most challenging part of the Fire Investigation Field is the origin and cause determination. Although fire travel and progression leaves patterns for us to analyze, occasionally the extensive amount of destruction can make it very difficult to determine how or what caused the fire, which is very frustrating and challenging.

4.In addition to your career as a Fire Investigator, I understand that you are also an entrepreneur, being the owner of the Gritz Cafe. How do you juggle the two?

I juggle the two very skillfully. It is very difficult being an absentee owner. I have put a lot of trust in other people to fulfill my dream of making Gritz Café a success. Nothing can be accomplished without having a good team surrounding you, whether it is with Gritz Café or in the Fire Service.

5.Can you share with us your most interesting memory as a Fire Investigator? As the owner of the Gritz Cafe?

As a Fire Investigator, I have many interesting memories but for the sake of major incidents, I was the Lead Fire Investigator who investigated the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino Fire that occurred on July 25, 2015.

If you could start all over again, what would you have done differently?

I would not do anything differently. I think everything I have gone through thus far has made me the determined woman that I am, capable of weathering any storm and overcoming any obstacle.

Do you have any advice for those who plan to pursue a career in this field?

I believe my best advice for any career field is to plan to work hard, remain determined and optimistic, and be a person who is respectable.

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