Meet The Team

Joseph Garland, Fire Consultant

My interest in fires all began in 1995 when I joined the Freeburg Volunteer Fire Department in my hometown of Freeburg, Illinois. It was there that I started learning and training in Fire Science. In 1997, after earning my Associate of Arts at Southwestern Illinois College, formerly known as Belleville Area College, I began to take EMT – Paramedic classes, while still continuing to take Fire Science classes and training. Over the course of five years I worked for Medstar Ambulance service as a Paramedic.

In 2001, I became a full-time fireman for the Belleville Fire Department. In 2002, I attended the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute Firefighter II Academy. My interest grew in not only fighting fires, but also investigating fires. Over the course of several years, I have assisted in investigating approximately 667 fires.

In 2008, I earned my Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science from Southwestern Illinois College. After completing the required courses and testing, I achieved the rank of Engineer with the Belleville Fire Department. Later that year, I completed the University of Illinois Fire and Arson Investigation Modules I, II and III. After completing the requirements and testing, I became a Certified Fire Investigator. Since that time, I began investigating fires for the City of Belleville Fire Department and Midwest Fire Consulting Group.

In 2009, I attended the Maine State Police Canine Accelerant Detection School in Alfred, Maine. There, along with my K-9, Chewy, we completed the 200 hour program to become Belleville’s first accelerant detection K-9 Investigation Team. Chewy and I together, are a Certified K-9 Investigation Team that requires recertification each year.

In 2012, I achieved the rank of Captain with the Belleville Fire Department. Also, in that same year, I became a Certified Fire Investigator for the Missouri Division of Fire Safety.

Since becoming a Certified Fire Investigator, I have attended the IAAI Expert Witness
Courtroom Testimony Course, completed the Scientific Method for Fire and Explosion Investigation and attended Fire/Arson Conferences for the IAAI Illinois Chapter.


Joseph Garland
PO Box 1096
Murphysboro, IL 62966
(618) 660-8530