Prosecutor named to fire group
Tom Ost-Prisco appointed to serve on National Fire Protection Association
The volunteer firefighter who doubles as a senior prosecutor in the Chester County District Attorney’s Office — or is that the other way around? — has been named to serve on the national organization that develops guidelines for fire investigators.
On Friday, District Attorney Tom Hogan announced that Deputy District Attorney Tom OstPrisco has been appointed to serve on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the oversight committee that develops national guidelines for fire investigators.
Ost-Prisco is the only prosecutor serving on the NFPA committee, which is made up of experts from multiple fields across
the United States. He 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 U.S. Fire Academy and supervises all arson-related cases in the county.
“With decades of experience as both a prosecutor and firefighter, Tom OstPrisco provides a unique and invaluable resource to the National Fire Protection Association,” said Hogan in a news release. “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.”
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.
Chester County Chief Fire Marshal John Weer, who has worked with OstPrisco over the years on arson-related cases, congratulated the prosecutor.
“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,” Weer said. “Tom will be a huge asset to the committee as well as the entire fire and explosion investigative teams throughout the nation.”
Ost-Prisco, who was instrumental in prosecuting the cases involving a string of arsons in Coatesville in 2008 and 2009, was also responsible for helping write new legislation that increased penalties for arson cases in the state.
“I am honored to serve the National Fire Protection Association, and to work with fire experts from around the county,” Ost-Prisco said in the news release. “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.”