National Fire Incident Reporting System (currently at NFIRS 5.0) is the national standard for fire incident reporting. NFIRS captures all fire department responses (which includes medical, hazmat, rescue and others, but is primarily fire focused) allows data-based decision making for continuous improvement of the fire service. Being NFIRS compliant is a regular requirement for fire departments applying for federal grants.
Fire Department reporting to NFIRS is optional at the federal (USFA) level, however ‘NFIRS compliance’ (being up to date on reporting) plays an important role when applying for federal grants. Further, many states require that fire departments complete NFIRS reports, typically on monthly basis.
NFIRS is primarily interested in data for fires however all emergency responses, and even some more, are eligible to be entered into NFIRS. (See USFA NFIRSgram: When Is an Incident Not an Incident?)
Some NFIRS incident types require additional structure information, perhaps sprinkler or smoke detector information or vehicle information, and some require wild-land information. The basic incident information (what / where / when) is the same for all calls, but NFIRS requests “additional modules” based off the incident group. Here are some of those modules of information.
Traditionally NFIRS was completed on paper reports however digital mechanisms now exist. Responserack is one awesome NFIRS fire reporting system for this job, however there is also FEMA’s USFA eNFIRS system.
Here at Responserack we’ve created an NFIRS cheat sheet / quick guide for the main elements, however we also have a full NFIRS reference plus some examples on how to code NFIRS for various incident types.
NFIRS gathers data from all over the USA in order to determine trends and identify where prevention efforts are needed, as well as improving fire safety and reducing the number of fire deaths and injuries.
For volunteer fire departments, being NFIRS compliant is highly beneficial when applying for grants.
Responserack guides firefighters and administrators through NFIRS reporting, which massively simplifies NFIRS reporting.
An NFIRS report is made up of NFIRS modules (which each match the original separate paper forms) and group data by concept, e.g. [fire module][/nfirs/module/fire/] if for all fires from house fires to car fires, but structure fire module is additional information for structures only. The basic module is used on all incidents.
NFIRS Transactions are technical groupings of NFIRS Elements - data fields rarely observed outside of software speficiations, whereas NFIRS Blocks are traditional visual/logical groupings one might see on an NFIRS form. NFIRS validation rules - which dictate valid reports - often reference data by blocks.
These reference documents are for the NFIRS parts and pieces:
NFIRS (National Fire Incident Reporting System) - sometimes know, incorrectly but perhaps good-humoredly, as NIFFERs, NIFERs and NIFRS - is the USA USFA database for fire incidents:
NFIRS - pronounced “en-furs” isn’t as easy to say as NIFFERs or NIFERs or NIFIRs - pronounced “nif-fers”. ( Sometimes it is typo’ed as nfris. )