WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) announces the launch of the modernization effort to develop a new, interoperable fire information and analytics platform, known as the National Emergency Response Information System (NERIS), for the American fire and emergency services. This effort is being carried out as a partnership between USFA and the US Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). The goal of NERIS is to empower the local fire and emergency service community by equipping them with near real-time information and analytic tools that support data informed decision making for enhanced preparedness and response to incidents involving all-hazards.
“Once launched, the new NERIS platform will provide capabilities for documenting and introducing community risk reduction efforts, associated resilience and mitigation efforts into the overall preparedness and resilience equation — providing greater insights into vulnerability gaps where resources can be used to harden communities and minimize future emergency and disaster events,” said U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell.
The platform will integrate data from multiple federal data sets, computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and other authoritative live data sources — to inform community risks including vulnerable populations, the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), drought areas and flood plains. Further, it will support rapid data capture from hostile event response, including response to structure fires, emergency medical incidents and hazardous materials events.
This project is made possible through a research & development contract awarded through S&T’s Long-Range Broad Agency Announcement program awarded to The Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI). FSRI is a part of UL Research Institutes, the nonprofit safety science organization within the UL enterprise. In collaboration with USFA, DHS S&T and the American fire service, FSRI will develop and provide the new NERIS platform for use by fire and emergency service departments nationwide.
The new NERIS platform will replace the legacy data system (known as the National Fire Incident Reporting System — NFIRS) with a secure, cloud-hosted platform that will fulfill the USFA’s National Fire Data Center’s (NFDC) obligation under the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (PL 93-498) — to mitigate the fire problem, reduce loss of life and property and educate the public on fire prevention and protection, as well as effects of all-hazards.
Once NERIS is developed and operational, USFA will work to migrate fire and emergency service departments onto the new platform. The legacy NFIRS will remain operational throughout the transition process so all fire and emergency services departments should continue to use the current NFIRS data system and maintain status quo until migrated to the new platform. For the latest information on NERIS development, visit www.USFA.FEMA.gov/nfirs/Neris.