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BUSTED
Top 10 NFIRS Myths
K
ansas
Fire
Incident
R
eporting
System
"We only need to
submit fire calls."
#10.
"We only need to submit fire calls."
The Kansas Fire Service averages 4% of total call
loads as working fires.
Would you m...
Instead of just fires....
Approach NFIRS with an "all-in" mentality.
Report everything you can to NFIRS. When you need
acc...
"Only mandatory
fields matter."
#9.
"Only system mandatory fields matter."
Many important fields are not mandatory simply
because of the system's validation d...
Instead of minimum effort....
Focus more on good reporting and less on
mandatory fields.
You'll get out of NFIRS what you ...
"We can't get the
information."
#8.
"We can't get enough information."
It can be tough getting enough information from the
people on the call to complete a re...
"Nobody cares if we
don't submit."
#7.
"Nobody cares if we don't submit."
Failing to report doesn't just affect your department.
 
Each department is a piece of ...
"...but we didn't have any calls!"
Save the headache of letters and phone calls and
get familiar with the No Activity repo...
"Reports can't be
updated later."
#6.
"Reports can't be updated later."
Consider NFIRS reports as "living documents" that
you can update at any time.
You don't ...
"Reporting doesn't
help my department."
#5.
"Reporting don't help my department."
You can use NFIRS to determine call volume,
peak times, when you should schedule tra...
"I still don't think it's worth it."
Fire departments who don't participate in NFIRS can
be ineligible to receive grant fu...
"We can't afford the
software."
#4.
"We can't afford software."
If you don't have software for completing reports
there is a perfectly capable, free software ...
Want to see what the software
looks like?
Click here to see a manual for the Data Entry Tool. Note: this is
specific to Ka...
"We shouldn't worry
about old reports."
#3.
"This report is too old to submit."
Oops! You found a report that wasn't submitted.
Send it in, despite the date.
If you w...
"My department is
too small to matter."
#2.
"We are too small to matter in NFIRS."
Are you too small to need equipment? Are you too
small to need personnel? Why would...
"A few bad reports
are fine."
#1.
"A few bad reports are fine."
Imagine 1 in 10 reports are incorrect in your
department per year. If 10% of reports were
in...
                           Ignore the myths.
 
                     Focus on good reporting.
Your department will reap the...
and I would love to hear from you!
Sara Wood
Kansas NFIRS Program Manager
sara.wood@ksfm.ks.gov
HELLO
MY NAME IS
Sara...
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Top 10 NFIRS Reporting Myths

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When it comes to reporting to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, there are several myths floating around. As a trainer I hear them in almost every class. Find the truth behind common myths in this short presentation. Spread the truth afterwards! Note: there are some links specific to Kansas Fire Incident Reporting System. They may still be applicable but please defer to your state's guidelines.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
  • If you're in the fire and EMS business and are not a follower of Sara Wood, Kansas NFIRS Program Manager, then you're "missing the boat" when it comes to understanding how to make NFIRS work better for you and your department. Nobody makes NFIRS data collection, analysis, and PRESENTATION better than the "Queen of NIFRS data crunching"! Check her out for yourself and see if you don't agree!
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Top 10 NFIRS Reporting Myths

  1. 1. BUSTED Top 10 NFIRS Myths K ansas Fire Incident R eporting System
  2. 2. "We only need to submit fire calls." #10.
  3. 3. "We only need to submit fire calls." The Kansas Fire Service averages 4% of total call loads as working fires. Would you make accurate decisions affecting Public Safety with 4% of the picture?
  4. 4. Instead of just fires.... Approach NFIRS with an "all-in" mentality. Report everything you can to NFIRS. When you need accurate numbers all your information will be in one place.
  5. 5. "Only mandatory fields matter." #9.
  6. 6. "Only system mandatory fields matter." Many important fields are not mandatory simply because of the system's validation design.  Example: Apartment isn't mandatory because you won't always be at an apartment. However, when you are at an apartment, that information is important to the address.
  7. 7. Instead of minimum effort.... Focus more on good reporting and less on mandatory fields. You'll get out of NFIRS what you put into it. Minimum in? Minimum answers coming out.
  8. 8. "We can't get the information." #8.
  9. 9. "We can't get enough information." It can be tough getting enough information from the people on the call to complete a report. Implementing a good field notes form can literally fix the problem overnight, so long as personnel are using it. Click here for a great example of a Field Notes Form.
  10. 10. "Nobody cares if we don't submit." #7.
  11. 11. "Nobody cares if we don't submit." Failing to report doesn't just affect your department.   Each department is a piece of the puzzle that details the needs and services of the Fire Service. If there are too many pieces missing nobody will be able to tell what the picture is supposed to be. It can also impact the amount of funding your area receives.
  12. 12. "...but we didn't have any calls!" Save the headache of letters and phone calls and get familiar with the No Activity report.  Submitted monthly, it tells the system that you didn't have any calls. Each state may do No Activity differently so check in with your State Program Manager.
  13. 13. "Reports can't be updated later." #6.
  14. 14. "Reports can't be updated later." Consider NFIRS reports as "living documents" that you can update at any time. You don't want to keep "undetermined" in a field if you have the exact information.  It looks bad and it doesn't help the system. Do you want to go to court with outdated info?
  15. 15. "Reporting doesn't help my department." #5.
  16. 16. "Reporting don't help my department." You can use NFIRS to determine call volume, peak times, when you should schedule training, what kind of training to give, if trucks are in the right stations, Standards of Cover, trends, trouble areas, funding proposals, grant proposals, city/county reports to superiors, prevention measures, equipment needs, comparisons, coverage, performance review, community impact...   The list goes on.
  17. 17. "I still don't think it's worth it." Fire departments who don't participate in NFIRS can be ineligible to receive grant funding. You can affect how much funding your city gets, your county gets, your state, and yes even how much funding the Federal government believes that fire departments need. You'll also miss out on points for your ISO rating.
  18. 18. "We can't afford the software." #4.
  19. 19. "We can't afford software." If you don't have software for completing reports there is a perfectly capable, free software offered by the USFA. The software offers a downloaded version and an online version.  Contact your State Program Manager to get you set up with a login and password.
  20. 20. Want to see what the software looks like? Click here to see a manual for the Data Entry Tool. Note: this is specific to Kansas but will still give you a good overview if you're from a different state.
  21. 21. "We shouldn't worry about old reports." #3.
  22. 22. "This report is too old to submit." Oops! You found a report that wasn't submitted. Send it in, despite the date. If you want to establish trends you need several years of data. 5 years is good.  20 is better.  There's no such thing as an "old" report to a system like this.
  23. 23. "My department is too small to matter." #2.
  24. 24. "We are too small to matter in NFIRS." Are you too small to need equipment? Are you too small to need personnel? Why would you be too small for representation? Think of all the small departments you know.  If you all decided that you're too small to matter now we're talking about a growing black hole of information.
  25. 25. "A few bad reports are fine." #1.
  26. 26. "A few bad reports are fine." Imagine 1 in 10 reports are incorrect in your department per year. If 10% of reports were incorrect at the state level it could be 20,000+.   At the national level?  Roughly 2,000,000. That doesn't seem so fine.
  27. 27.                            Ignore the myths.                        Focus on good reporting. Your department will reap the benefits of good data. You'll have strong statistics for proposals and some serious insight into your department, all while supporting the Fire Service everywhere.  
  28. 28. and I would love to hear from you! Sara Wood Kansas NFIRS Program Manager sara.wood@ksfm.ks.gov HELLO MY NAME IS Sara...

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