GV Fire And Property Maintenance Specialist Receives Fire Investigator Of The Year Award

David Gustafson, Golden Valley fire and property maintenance specialist, was this year’s recipient of the Fire Investigator of the Year award from the Minnesota chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators. The award was presented at the annual MNIAAI Conference in St Cloud March 23, 2017.

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Dave Gustafson received the Investigator of the Year award at the MNIAAI Conference Thursday.

“When you look at who has won this award in the past, you get an idea of just what kind of caliber-level award this is,” says Fire Chief John Crelly. “Dave’s work has had such a big impact.”

In addition to being a Golden Valley fire and property maintenance specialist, Gustafson leads a team of 19 fire investigators who serve cites throughout Hennepin County. While only one person gets the Investigator of the Year award, Gustafson gives credit to his investigative team.

“If I didn’t have such a good group of people on my team, I wouldn’t be in this position,” he says. “It all goes back to the team.”

The Hennepin County Fire Investigation Team, which won the award for Investigative Team of the Year at the 2016 the MNIAAI Conference, was formed in 2005 to help Hennepin County cities with limited investigative resources. They investigate roughly 30 to 35 fires per year. Gustafson has been leading the team for four years.

He was nominated for the award by Rick Hammerschmidt, Golden Valley deputy fire chief.

“Dave is a hard working guy who goes above and beyond what’s asked of him,” Hammerschmidt says. “He gets called out in the middle of the night, by other cities, to go investigate, and he takes the extra time. It shows strong commitment to the profession.”

Gustafson says he’s humbled by the award and just appreciates that he’s been given a chance to do this work.

“I can’t say how grateful I am to be allowed to go out and do this,” he says.

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