It’s been another exciting year here at Jack Ward Fire Consultants! We are proud of everything our team has accomplished and how the company has grown in 2021. First, we would like to thank each and every one of our clients whose support has allowed for every opportunity. We appreciate your continued business and recognize we would not be where we are without each of you.

This year, CEO David Cheers taught many CE classes to valued clients across our coverage area. Class topics included kitchen fire investigations, unique fire investigations, and large loss management. David is excited to introduce new cutting-edge class topics next year. Please reach out if you’re interested in learning more or scheduling a class.

We would like to recognize our investigators who choose to be involved in industry organizations to expand their knowledge and expertise. Each one of our investigators are members of local and national organizations, and the following employees hold positions:

  • David Cheers serves on the national board for the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI).
  • Jeff Merritt serves as president of the Florida Advisory Committee on Arson Prevention (FACAP).
  • Josh Plummer serves on the board of the Florida Advisory Committee on Arson Prevention (FACAP).
  • Tom Angst serves on the board of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Arson & Fire Investigators Seminar (GCRAFIS).

Because of our incredible clients, we were able to hire three new employees in 2021!

Joseph DiFranco began his 35+ year career in fire investigation in 1985 as a full-time firefighter for the City of Peabody, Massachusetts. In 2003, he was promoted to Senior Fire Investigator and Fire Prevention Officer where he was responsible for fire education and fire code enforcement, along with origin and cause investigations of all fires and explosions. His courtroom testimony spanned Juvenile, District, State, and Federal Courts and was critical in multiple high-profile cases. In 2014, Joseph moved to the private sector where he has investigated and managed resources for fire and explosion incidents. His knowledge of both the public and private sectors made him a great addition to the JWFC team. Joseph is a Certified Fire Investigator (CFI) through the International Association of Arson Investigators, a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) and a Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator (CVFI) through the National Association of Fire Investigators, and is court qualified as an expert in the field of fire origin and cause investigation.

Tony Leclerc graduated from the Baran Institute of Technology in 2006 and began his career as an automotive technician at Nissan. In this capacity, he accurately assessed vehicle malfunctions and preformed extensive vehicle repairs. In 2012, Tony was promoted to Level A Technician and became responsible for overseeing all mechanical and electrical aspects of vehicles while resolving technical issues and led his team in providing innovative solutions to the operational challenges they faced with vehicle repairs and maintenance. Tony was promoted again in 2020 to Shop Foreman where he supervised his team of technicians and dispatched their work. He joined the Jack Ward Fire team as an Automotive Specialist/Evidence Technician, bringing with him his 14 years of mechanical experience and knowledge of many vehicle operation systems. Tony holds a Nissan Certified Diesel Technician Certification, a Master ASE Technician Certification, and a Nissan Master Technician Certification.

Eric Bryant began his career in 1992 as a Dispatch Officer with the State Fire Marshal’s Office located in Tallahassee, Florida. In 1998, he became certified as a Fire Safety Inspector and moved to the Bureau of Fire Prevention enforcing the State’s Fire Codes. Upon obtaining his law enforcement certification in 2009, Eric was promoted to Detective with the Bureau of Fire, Arson, & Explosives Investigations (BFAEI). He was solely responsible for over 600 fire origin and cause investigations involving a variety of crimes ranging from larceny to homicide. In 2019 Eric relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina where he worked for the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy Sheriff until joining Jack Ward Fire in December 2021. Eric is court qualified as an expert in the field of fire origin and cause investigation.

As the year comes to an end, we are excited for new opportunities for company growth to better serve our clients. We look forward to seeing both clients and industry leaders at events throughout 2022. Expect to see us at FACAP, Florida IAAI, SCIFI, NC/SC IAAI, FIFEC, NC ICIE, NSPII, OH Arson School, and claims association events and meetings across our coverage area. Thank you for continuing to choose Jack Ward Fire for your fire investigations, fire code consultations, catastrophic loss management, and more!