The UK-AFI (formerly IAAI-UK) Peter Ganci Jr. Memorial Award

The UK-AFI Peter Ganci Jr. Memorial Award "Digging for the Truth", is awarded to an individual member of UK-AFI who has made an outstanding contribution to fire investigation. This can be a specific matter where the nominee has excelled in an individual achievement, where their wider contribution has led to an advancement or wider recognition of the subject of fire investigation anywhere in the world.
This award is not presented on an annual basis. It will only be awarded when a worthy recipient has been nominated and the Awards Committee has unanimously determined that this prestigious award can be made. 

Peter J. Ganci Jr.

Peter Ganci Jr.‚ was the Chief of Department‚ FDNY‚ the highest ranking uniformed officer. Chief Ganci died at the World Trade Centre in 2001 while performing his duties. He was appointed to the FDNY on September 14‚ 1968. He was awarded the B.C. Frank Tuttlemondo medal in 1982 for performing an act of bravery and courage when he rescued a child from a burning apartment that was heavily engulfed in smoke‚ heat and fire.

It was this same determination that Chief Ganci‚ on September 11th as the Chief of Department‚ led and directed the most successful rescue operation of the modern era. Over 30‚000 people were saved because of Chief Ganci and his fellow firefighters.

His career achievements included Captain‚ 1983; Battalion Chief‚ 1987; Deputy Chief 1993; Deputy Assistant Chief in charge of Bureau of Fire Investigation‚ 1994; Assistant Chief of Operations‚ 1996; Chief of operations 1997-99; Acting Chief of Department‚ 1998-99; and Chief of Department‚ October 1999 to September 11‚ 2001.

One of our members: John Williamson was a close friend of Chief Ganci and following September 11th attacks, John established the Pete J Ganci Jr Memorial with the assistance of the Forum of Arson Investigators; the award was originally sponsored by Dr J H Burgoyne & Partners LLP. It was first awarded in 2003.

Recipients of the UK-AFI Peter Gansi Jr. Memorial Award.

Ian Mullen - 2024

Station Manager Ian Mullen has been employed by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) since April 1996. During which he has worked in numerous operational and day-related roles. However, he found his true vocation when he joined the Incident Investigation Team in 2009.

Ian has since become a very experienced fire Investigator who has investigated over 1,500 Tier 2 investigations, attended over 50 fatal fires and provided expert witness evidence at Crown and Coroners Court on many occasions.

Ian is a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers (MIFireE) and an Associate of the Institute of Explosive Engineers (AIExpE). He is also a long-standing member of the United Kingdom Association of Fire Investigators and holds Fellow status (FFirelnv). During this period, he has regularly attended both the UKAFl's winter and summer training conferences and has delivered presentations on specific themed subjects on three occasions (Hoarding, Fireworks / Pyrotechnics, Gas Explosions).

Ian has demonstrated a passion for fire investigation and is always keen to pass on the knowledge and experience he has to others. He is the chair of the North-West Fire Investigation Group and he has done much to improve the standards of fire investigation in the region by hosting training seminars and sharing his expertise. He is the NFCC North-west Regional representative on the NFCC Fire Investigation Strategic Steering Group and currently sits as part of the specialist group working with the Office of the Forensic Regulator to produce the fire investigation forensic science activity  specific requirements.

Ian is a qualified electrician and this is an area that can occasionally give fire investigators sleepless nights! However, he has done his utmost to nurture new fire investigators and has provided support and training to many throughout his tenure within the team.

Ian has received numerous Chief Officer Commendations during his career; most notably following a fire investigation in Manchester where sadly a firefighter lost his life and more recently following a huge gas explosion in Wirral, Merseyside. His tenacity throughout this investigation led to a successful conviction of the perpetrator who was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. 

Ian is currently preparing MFRS for IS017020 and the painstaking work that goes with this. He has again been at the forefront of this work both regionally and nationally to improve the overall standards of fire investigation in the UK.

Anthony (Tony) Harland - 2022

The UK-AFI Peter Ganci Memorial Award was awarded to Anthony (Tony) Harland for his hard work, tenacity, support to others and dedication to fire investigation.  Tony Harland joined Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service in 1995 after serving as a Royal Air Force firefighter. He went on to progress through the ranks to Watch Manager before being posted to the Home Safety department. Tony joined the Incident Investigation Team in May 2010 as a whole time investigator and in April 2019 was prompted to Station Manager due to his partnership work with Merseyside Police,  other agencies and sharing information and work together to reduce deliberate fire setting. Within his 11 years of Fire Investigation, Tony has attended over 2000 tier two incidents, plus more than 30 fatal fires which include:

  • The Pauls Hair World fire that claimed the life of Firefighter Stephen Hunt for which he received a Chief Officers Commendation
  • Moscow Drive, a significant fire involving the murder of a four year old child and the suicide of his mother
  • Cambletown Road (a 20 pump fire involving a super structure warehouse).

Jamie Novak - 2018

The UK-AFI Peter Ganci Memorial Award was awarded to Jamie Novak (posthumously) for his incredible contribution to training fire investigators.  Jamie began his fire service in 1979 as a volunteer firefighter with the City of Golden Valley, Minnesota holding fire investigation roles within the Minnesota State Fire Marshal's Office and the St. Paul Fire Department. During his career Jamie  conducted numerous live burns and explosions in his everlasting quest to discover and uncover the science involved in defining the origin and cause of fires and/or explosions. Jamie travelled extensively throughout the world conducting training exercises and sharing his knowledge in the classroom and in the field in the areas of fire/explosion investigations and techniques. 

Niamh Nic Daéid -2016

Professor Niamh Nic Daéid (Professor of Forensic Science and Director of Research at the University of Dundee). The UK-AFI Peter Ganci Jr. Memorial Award was awarded to Niamh for her dedication and commitment to improving the fire investigation profession in the UK. In particular, for planning and running the “Building safer communities: Developing coordinated approaches to investigating and preventing fires” workshops 2011-2012 which included both UK and International speakers; and for her hard work and dedication as Chair of the working party responsible for producing the ‘Fire Investigation Code of Practice’, at the request of the Forensic Regulator, which has become known as the ‘Protocol’.

Peter Sandel - 2015

Peter Sandel spent 35 years in the British Fire Service, the last 20 years of his career as a full time Fire Investigator with The West Midlands Fire Service and then with Devon Fire and Rescue Service, retiring in 2005 he continued investigating fires in the private sector. The Peter Ganci Jr. Memorial Award was awarded to Peter in 2015 in recognition of his work in delivering training fire investigation in Colombia, South America. This first started back in 2003 when he visited Colombia as a member of a support team from Devon Fire and Rescue Service. Since 2003 Peter returned to Colombia on many occasions meeting the local firefighters and with the help of interpreters running First Responder FI courses for them. All of the work was carried out on a voluntary basis; the hosts just cover expenses. Peter is very proud to have trained over 200 firefighters in the scientific method of FI and encouraged them to advance by becoming members of the Latin American branch of the IAAI and undertake progressive training.

Mick Gardiner - 2009

Mick Gardiner spent 27 years in the British fire service with the last 11 years of his career as a Fire Investigation Officer. Mick launched Gardiner Associates Training and Research in 1996, providing inter-agency fire investigation training to police and fire authorities. Mick was awarded the Peter Ganci Jr. Memorial Award in 2009 for his contribution to the development of fire investigation. Authoring FM Global’s ‘Guide to Fire & Arson Investigation’, contributing to design and development of UK National Occupational Standards (NOS) and many other national and international initiatives and ongoing work delivering training to fire investigators.

Nick Carey - 2003

In 2003, Nick Carey was a full time Fire Investigation Officer within London Fire Brigade. Nick was awarded the Peter Ganci Jr. Memorial Award in 2003 for his contribution to the professional development of fire investigation within LFB and for his work training other investigators in electrical fires.


Nomination Process

Please note that previous recipients may not be re-nominated.

To nominate an individual for this award you must submit:

The name and contact details of the nominee
The name and contact details of the Proposer (for verification)
The name and contact details of the Seconder (for verification)

The proposal must be supported with a 300 word submission (no photographs) of the nominees achievement or contribution relating to fire investigation and a short summary of approximately 100 words that will be read out during the presentation of the award.


The John DeHaan Memorial Award

The John DeHaan Memorial Award is designed to recognise a UK-AFI member who has given their time to share their knowledge and expertise on to other fire investigators. This could involve training course provision, presenting at conferences, publishing, sharing research etc, this list is not exhaustive.

The prize awarded will consist of one fully paid place at an Annual Training Conference, a voucher for £100 and a framed certificate.

To be eligible for consideration, all applicants must be fully paid members of the UK-AFI for a minimum period of 2 years. 

Full details of the program can be found HERE

John DeHaan

John started his career in 1970 as a criminalist in California where he remained to ultimately become the program manager for the California Criminalistics Institute in Sacramento until he left in 1998. After this he set up his own company, Fire-Ex Forensics Inc, providing consulting advice in criminal and civil cases. Starting in 1982, he authored 6 editions of Kirk’s Fire Investigation, a book that sits on fire investigation shelves around the world as well as Forensic Fire Scene Reconstruction. John was an excellent speaker and a fount of fire knowledge. He regularly visited the UK to give lectures and training and was an active member of the IFE Fire Investigation SIG group. Those of us that met him have fond memories of him; those that have not met him will have been familiar with his books. His impact on the fire investigation community cannot be understated.

Recipients of the UK-AFI John DeHaan Memorial Award.

Mick Gardiner - 2024

In 1984 Mick became a full time Fire Investigation Officer within the London Fire Brigade. He investigated over 1200 scenes including over 70 fatal fires which included murders, suicides, arson and serious injury incidents. He provided expert evidence in the courtroom numerous times. 

Mick retired from the LFB in 1995 after 27 years and started his company, Gardiner Associates providing interagency fire investigation education and training to fire and police across the country.  Mick has authored the FM Global's 'Guide to Fire & Arson Investigation', as well as contributing to many other publications including The Handbook of Forensic Science (J Fraser and R Williams), assisted in the design and development of the UK National Occupational Standards (NOS) and assisted in its conversion to the Skills for Justice Level 5 Certificate in Fire Investigation and design of the level 2 Award in Introduction to Fire Investigation. He is Currently working on an update to the Guide to Fire and Arson Investigation.

He has worked with the Arson Prevention Bureau, the Arson Control Forum, IAAI, IFE, CRFP, the Home Office and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to carry out National and International research projects and publications. Mick ran several international Fire Investigation conferences between 1997 and 2007 bringing together leading presenters from Australia, The United States, Holland, France as well as the UK. He has presented at Conference events in Europe and the USA, taught at the Federal Law Enforcement Centre (FLETC)

Georgia USA, lectured to Undergraduates studying Criminology at Westminster University, Fire Engineering at the South Bank and postgraduates in Investigative Psychology at Liverpool John Moore's.

The IAAI-UK chapter 67 was formed in 2003 with Mick as one of the original members sponsoring some of its events. Kirks 7th edition included a dedication "to Mick Gardiner in recognition of his unlimited dedication to improving fire investigation across the UK and the rest of Europe through better training".

Since starting the company in 1995 Mick has continued to keep pace with the advances that have been made in Fire investigation. To date, Gardiner Associates under Mick, has delivered over 10,000 Fire Investigations training course places to personal from Fire, Police, Private Investigators and other interested bodies, at all levels. His courses run in the United Kingdom and Europe. The company has developed into research into fire

investigation and forensic evidence at fire scenes.  Mick specialises in "Fit for Purpose" training by providing a real fire scene with real evidence and the sharing of expertise. Micks Motto is "Live, Learn and Pass it on!"

Stephen Andrews - 2023

Stephen Andrews was the first recipient of the UK-AFI John DeHaan Memorial Award in recognition of his pursuit of sharing his knowledge and expertise with other fire investigators, over the last 20 years. Stephen has been actively involved in sharing his knowledge and teaching fire investigation at various levels to UK & International students including fire officers, insurance investigators, forensic scientists and recent forensic science graduates. He has been presenting at fire investigation conferences over the last 20 years, for a variety of professional associations, always delivering an interesting and educational lecture. Stephen has presented at four UK-AFI conferences events over the last 20 years and one International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) International Training Conference in Orlando, Florida to a global fire investigation audience.

Since 2010 Stephen has been teaching fire investigation at Master of Science degree level, mentoring many UK-AFI members with their dissertation thesis. He is currently an assessor for the Chartered Society of Forensic Scientists panel for Registered Forensic Practitioner in Fire Investigation, and an assessor for the Skills for Justice Level 5 Certificate in Fire Investigation. Stephen has refereed published papers on a variety of topics covering, cross contamination of nylon bags, comparison of various models of smoke alarms against smouldering fires and the advantages of wall-mounting; the ignitability of petrol vapours and potential for vapour phase explosion by use of TASER law enforcement electronic control device, and “Combustion and Toxic Gas Production from Disposable Barbecues in Enclosures”. Stephen had been collaborating with John DeHaan and sharing knowledge on the results from accelerant detection using portable GC-MS analysis, following in John’s ethos of sharing knowledge and expertise.


Should you require further details on either award or wish to submit a nomination please email [email protected]



Become a member today

Join the association today and start enjoying the privileges of being a member of The UK Association of Fire Investigators.