President/Owner VI Fire Forensics
Assistant Chief (Ret.) Rich Pala
Rich Pala served with the Fire Service for 30 years and was formerly an Assistant Chief with the Saanich Fire Department- Fire Prevention Division as well as the Lead Instructor and Subject Matter Expert for the Justice Institute of British Columbia’s Fire Investigation program. Prior to working for the Saanich Fire Department, Rich worked as a firefighter for the Department of National Defence (Canada) and the Esquimalt Municipal Police/Fire Department serving as both a Police Officer and Firefighter. After 16 years as a suppression firefighter Rich was promoted and became a qualified Fire Investigation Officer and has investigated over 100 fires. Major case assignments have included complex fire investigations, homicide/arson fires and explosions. Rich has presented at conferences and training seminars to Fire and Law Enforcement personnel at both the Municipal and Federal level as well as having presented internationally in Belize, El Salvador, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. Rich has participated on Advisory Boards for both the Office of the Fire Commissioner (BC) and the Justice Institute for curriculum development and qualifications standards for Fire Investigators.
As the Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the Fire Cause and Origin program with the Justice Institute of British Columbia, Rich delivered the NFPA 1033 ‘Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigators’ to Fire and Police personnel across Canada, Cree First Nations Government Fire Prevention Officers and International students.
In addition to reviewing case files in support of litigation, Rich has also provided expert witness testimony at both the Provincial and Supreme Court