EMMITSBURG, Md. -- The United States Fire Administration (USFA), part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, announced today a major upgrading of National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). Version 5.0 is the most comprehensive revision of NFIRS since USFA first began using NFIRS in the late 1970's. The new NFIRS system utilizes cutting edge Internet technologies to increase ease of use, reduce costs, and capture more complete and timely information.
"We are expanding our data collection beyond fires to include the full range of fire service activities," said USFA Administrator Carrye B. Brown. "The past 20 years has seen dramatic changes in our nation's fire service community. We have updated NFIRS to keep pace and meet the needs of our partners and customers across the nation."
Michigan was the first state to begin data collection using the new system this month. Colorado plans to start using NFIRS 5.0 in February. As many as 23 states indicate plans to move on to the new version this year.
NFIRS 5.0 will automatically fix dates that are not Year 2000 (Y2K) compliant. For many states, this is a will provide aY2K solution in addition to updating their data collection capabilities.
Those who collect and analyze fire incident data at the federal, state and local levels developed NFIRS 5.0 in a collaborative effort. A key contributor has been the National Fire Information Council (NFIC). NFIC is a volunteer organization comprised of state officials and fire department program managers who assist the USFA in administrating NFIRS. "By involving the end-users from the very beginning, we have insured NFIRS 5.0 is responsive to their needs," said Administrator Brown.
Certification of NFIRS compliant software developed by independent vendors and sold to the fire service is also underway. The software certification procedure is posted on the USFA Web site, www.usfa.fema.gov/, the USFA vendor certifications site, www.nfirs.fema.gov/, and is vendor initiated. Vendors can test for compliance locally and submit a request for USFA certification when ready.