Committee Members

Mike Flanagan President

Mike Flanagan MSc FIFireE MCSFS, IAAI-CFI IAAI-ECT, IAAI-CI. Mike was in the Fire Service for nearly 35 years having joined the Greater Manchester Fire Service in 1977 as a Junior Fireman. He was promoted to the Mid Glamorgan Fire Service as a Station Officer in 1989. On reorganisation of the Welsh Fire Services in 1996, he became a member of the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service which included a secondment as an instructor at the Fire Service College, Moreton in Marsh.

Deon Webber Vice President

Deon Webber served for almost 35 years as a professional Fire Officer with the Greater Manchester Fire Service from April 1975 to January 2010. As the head of Fire Investigation for the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, he regularly delivered fire investigation training to Fire, Police and Prison Officers as well as Crime Scene Investigators and students of Forensic Science. He is an Associate Tutor at the University of Central Lancashire, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Fire Service College. Deon is a Fellow of, and senior examiner and marker for the Institution of Fire Engineers and has been the North West Regional Representative for the UK-AFI since 2008. 

Leigh Richards 2nd Vice President

Leigh joined the West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) in 1995 and following various operational promotions moved into the Fire Investigation and Prevention Section in 2012 as a dedicated Fire Investigation Officer.
He has been involved in many criminal cases and has presented his evidence in Crown Court as well as Coroners Court for many of the fatal fire scenes he has investigated.
He is a Graduate of the Institute of Fire Engineers (GiFireE) and is studying for his Master of Science Degree in Fire Scene Investigation at Wolverhampton University.

Nick Carey Immediate Past President

Nick joined Hawkins as a Fire Investigator in 2012 based at their Reigate office. Previously he worked for the London Fire Brigade (27 years) with the last 16 years as a full-time fire investigation officer.

In January 2002, Nick attended the ATF`s 2 week "Advanced Cause & Origin and Court Room Techniques" course in Brunswick, Georgia, USA.

In October 2004 Nick was awarded the Forensic Science Society`s Fire Investigation diploma.

Chris Clarke

Chris is a partner with Fire Investigations (UK) LLP. In a previous life he was a Station Manager in the West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service and managed their dedicated Fire Investigation Team and chaired the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Fire Investigation Group which provides specialist fire investigation cover for the region. As a 26 year veteran of the fire service he has been involved in fire investigation since training and introducing a fire dog into the West Yorkshire FRS in 2000.

Chris Ward Director of Administration

Chris served for more than 30 years in the Fire Service achieving the rank of Group Manager, carrying out various roles including the responsibility for Fire Investigation.  He has continued to work in the field of Firefighting, Fire Investigation and Training since leaving the service.

He is highly skilled with a proven track record and has worked both in this country and abroad, Chris was awarded an Honours Degree and is a Member of the Institution of Fire Engineers.

Emma Wison

After graduating with a Bachelors degree in Medical Biochemistry and a Masters degree in Biomolecular Archaeology, Emma spent almost 9 years with the Forensic Science Service (FSS), carrying out work for the police services of England and Wales. Beginning in the DNA unit and later working in the toxicology and drugs departments, in 2005 she joined the Fire Investigation Unit.

John Gow

I served for almost thirty one years with Strathclyde Fire & Rescue Service (SFRS) the last 12 years of which was as a full time fire investigator.

I began my career as an investigator in 1998 when SFRS established the first full time FI unit in Scotland. I had the opportunity to be involved in the development of the unit from the ground up being fully involved in the development of the section and it’s Modus Operandi.