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Investigator of the Year
History of the Award
In 1997, Lawrence
W. Tuck was called from this planet to be with our Creator. He was 54 years
old. He was called up during a day in which he was doing what he loved-fire
investigations and the activities associated with them. He was at the range
that day with his comrades. He just finished qualifying and was ready to go to
Lebanon to conduct a scene examination at a business fire that occurred while
the Division was at the range. He collapsed at the end of the weapons
qualifications. Although two comrades (Mike Fowler and Tom Hinkle) watched him
go down and began resuscitation efforts immediately, Bill's destiny was already
set. And as his comrades returned to assist and be by Bill's side, he did not
recover from the heart attack that he suffered.
appointed to the Indianapolis Fire Department in October 1969. He entered into
fire investigations for the department eleven years later. In April 1993, Bill
retired from the Indianapolis Fire Department. Three days later, he became a
deputy state fire marshal investigator for the Arson Division of the Indiana
State Fire Marshal's Office.
During his years
in the fire service, Bill took a very proactive view towards education. He not
only recognized the importance of continually learning all he could about fire
investigations, but he taught recruits at the Indianapolis Fire and Police
academies. But, his lectures and lessons didn't stop in the classroom. He would
take them to every fire scene throughout the State where his presence was
Bill loved nature
and his family. His eyes would sparkle when he talked about fishing down at his
cottage in Brown County. You could see and hear compassion for the welfare of
his family when you asked him how things were going with them.
was tall and stout and shouted omnipotence when he came to your fire scene.
Bill maintained certain traits like integrity, friendship, loyalty, fairness,
and so forth underneath his authority figure. In a world today where
characteristics like this seem to be dwindling, they are not. People like Bill
inspire us whether they are living or dead. And even though Bill is gone from
us physically, he is with us always spiritually. And we should grasp that
spirit and use it to motivate us to continue on with the traits that Bill
demonstrated while he was here with us.
The Indiana Fire
Investigation Conference is committed to the spirit of Bill's traits and to
encourage them in Indiana Fire Investigators. It is the desire of the
Conference, in the spirit of his traits, to honor Bill with an award named on
his behalf that is given to a fire investigator who demonstrates exceptional
performance in the area of fire and explosive investigations. Each year a
committee evaluates the nominations and selects a recipient to be presented
with the Lawrence W. Tuck Fire Investigator of the Year award at the Indiana
Fire Investigation Conference. They evaluate the nominations and select a
recipient to be presented with the Lawrence W. Tuck Fire Investigator of the
Year award at the Indiana Fire Investigation Conference. The recipient receives
the Award on the final day of the conference.