Intern, Allegheny County Fire Marshal in Pittsburgh, Pa.
After a fire has struck a home, it is up to the county’s fire marshal to visit the scene, investigate the damage and determine the cause of the fire. Most people may find this job intimidating, but Robin Ferko finds it thrilling.
Ferko spent her summer months as an intern for the Allegheny County Fire Marshal in Pittsburgh, Pa. A senior forensic science major, Ferko found herself applying what she had learned from Waynesburg University into her everyday duties and responsibilities. As an intern, Ferko was on constant call in case of a fire emergency.
In one case, Ferko and the team found evidence of arson.
“Someone got arrested based on the evidence we collected,” she said. “It was amazing to be able to contribute in that way and see my work make a difference.”
When arriving at a scene, she examined the buildings affected by fires to detect fire hazards and ensure that federal, state and local fire codes were met. As an investigator, she helped to determine the origin and cause of fires by digging through debris, taking photographs and sketching out the scene.
“It is one thing to have mock crime scenes and practice at school, but it is another to actually put the tape on and collect evidence that will go to the lab,” said Ferko. “My studies at Waynesburg University definitely prepared me for the fire scenes I encountered.”