UK Fire Investigators Awards using MediaFiler Digital Asset Management Software

Photo Contest on Fire !

It may have been cold in January but things were hotting up in the United Kingdom Association of Fire Investigators (UK-AFI) photographic competition, with the winners announced at the Annual Training Conference.  Photo Above: Peter Cole

A strange subject for a photographic competition; we all know the devastating destruction on property and life that can result from a fire. However, the emphasis is on training. Entries are the very best photographs from across the UK which assists the UK-AFI build up a formidable resource of material in their image library that can be used for both training and meet media requests.

In the past, it was a case of contacting colleagues around the UK hunting for images to demonstrate a point, often relying on memory to find the relevant images, now they are searchable and all available in one central place.

The three categories are: Fire Scene, Investigator at Work and Close up / Forensic. Not only do the entrants submit photographs but also the accompanying narrative to support evidence and training modules. The judges were three UK-AFI board members. Examples of the three categories can be seen in the photo gallery.

On this year’s competition, UK-AFI President John Galvin, one of the judges said:

UK-AFI President John Galvin

John Galvin

”UK-AFI President John GalvinThere are many good examples of the work of fire examiners: the big, the small and the very minute. This year’s winners are no exception. Andy Earl’s submission showing a £5.5m damaged fire scene shows the extent of the work to be carried out. Mark McCabe’s ‘Examiner at Work’ gives a flavour of the team commitment required. Pete Cole’s fire scene is an all too familiar scene when one moment there is peace and quiet then the next moment your home is going up in flames. Finally, Robin Slater’s ‘Close up and Forensic’ demonstrates the close attention to detail that is very often required to identify the source of the ignition to a fire.”

The UK-AFI has currently over 950 members, with representation from the fire service, insurance industry, law enforcement, forensic scientists, private fire investigators, fire investigation training providers, and forensic science academic establishments.

Richard Smart, Managing Director of AGX Holdings Ltd, and MediaFiler sales agent in the UK to the Military, Police and Fire services said:

AGX Logo“This is our second year of being involved with the competition and we have found the experience fascinating. I never realised the amount of work involved and the time it can take to carry out a comprehensive investigation. The TV gives a very warped, compressed version of events and time scales!”

And how is MediaFiler involved?

Yet again a MediaFiler Digital Asset Management system is used to automate the entrant’s registration, submission and management of the annual competition. All entries are reviewed on line, anonymised for judging on line and finally moved into the UK-AFI’s media library. Job done and another great batch of training photographs available for immediate use.

The Fire Service, like our Police and Hospitals clients, are required to protect their sensitive material in a secure digital environment and depend on MediaFiler. Unlike other DAM providers, we don’t use commercial cloud storage but have our own secure data centres.

MediaFiler’s Alastair McDavid, said: “The Fire Investigators are outstanding Forensic photographers, their photography plays a critical role in the discovery and identification process. We’re delighted that they have selected MediaFiler to both manage the contest and the training images and reports.”

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