Ost-Prisco named to national arson investigation group

Pictured from left to right: Elizabeth A. Schew, Assistant Chester County Fire Marshal; John A. Weer, Chester County Chief County Fire Marshal; John DiBuonaventuro, Chester County Sheriff’s Office; K-9 Leo, Chester County Sheriff’s Office; and Tom Ost-Prisco, Chester County Deputy District Attorney.

WEST CHESTER — The Chester County District Attorney’s Office announced that Deputy District Attorney Tom Ost-Prisco has been appointed to serve on the National Fire Protection Association (the “NFPA”) committee that develops national guidelines for fire investigators.

The NFPA reviews and publishes a fire investigation handbook every three years. The handbook provides evolving best practices to use during the investigation of arson and explosives cases. It covers everything from the initial fire investigation through trial and is used throughout the country.

Ost-Prisco is the only prosecutor serving on the NFPA committee, which is made up of experts from multiple fields across the United States.  Ost-Prisco has served as a prosecutor for 20 years and as a volunteer firefighter for over 25 years. He also teaches fire investigation courses at the United States Fire Academy. As a Deputy District Attorney,  Ost-Prisco supervises all arson­ related cases in Chester County.

“With decades of experience as both a prosecutor and firefighter, Tom Ost-Prisco provides a unique and invaluable resource to the National Fire Protection Association,” Chester County District Attorney Hogan said. “The Chester County District Attorney’s Office appreciates the opportunity to assist the firefighting community across the United States with Tom’s service and insight. All of Chester County is proud of Tom.”

His fire investigative colleagues in Chester County welcomed the appointment.

“Congratulations to Tom Ost-Prisco on his appointment to the NFPA 921 committee,” Chester County Chief Fire Marshal John Weer said. “This appointment not only speaks for the hard work and dedication Tom has put into the legal side of fire and arson investigations, but it also exemplifies the hard work and supportive team work of the District Attorney’s Office.  Tom will be a huge asset to the committee as well as the entire fire and explosion investigative teams throughout the nation. Tom’s experience as a volunteer firefighter and as a prosecutor in fire and arson here in Chester County gives him invaluable hands-on knowledge in making common sense decisions for the committee. As the Chief Fire Marshal for Chester County, I am very proud of Tom’s appointment and look forward to continuing to work with him at home and now with the National Committee.”

Ost-Prisco said he knew it was an honor to join such an important organization.

“I am honored to serve the National Fire Protection Association, and to work with fire experts from around the county.” Ost-Prisco said. “The handbook, known as NFPA 921, is an important resource used by fire investigators. It is recognized by both federal and state courts nationwide as a proper foundation for an investigator’s expert testimony. I am looking forward to giving prosecutors a voice on this committee.”

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