Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the project.

Yes, you should still submit your NFIRS data through your current processes. At present there are no plans for the USFA or any State Fire Marshal to change the way they prefer the data to come to them and we do not want to interfere with their collection of data.

The National Fire Data System and NFORS are working closely together and in parallel to support the improved use of data within the fire service to keep firefighters and their communities safe. The NFORS team is building a suite of tools to collect operational and health and wellness data from fire departments across the country. The National Fire Data System team is building the back-end architecture to store and analyze the data that is entered into the NFORS system and other systems.

Fire departments have traditionally collected and reported data on responses to emergency incidents. Yet responding to emergency incidents often accounts for only a portion of the activities in which firefighters engage. The focus of the National Fire Data System is collecting data on all types of fire department activities, which many fire departments already document extensively. The initial stages of this project are focused on the collection and analysis of activities related to incident responses, emergency scene operations, and health and wellness exposures. The vision of the project will extend to collecting data on other common activities such as fire prevention, community risk reduction, training, and investigations.

The landscape of the fire service is changing. Your fire department, like most other all-hazards agencies, is likely facing ever-increasing demands that are stretching the available resources and the training required to safely and effectively mitigate emergencies. Meanwhile, ever-increasing calls for fiscal responsibility and organizational accountability require fire departments to justify their existing and requested resources and deployment strategies. The National Fire Data System project is intended to help local fire departments, like yours, better use data and information to safely, effectively, and efficiently respond to the risks in your community.

The NFPA is currently working on creating processes that will allow the data to be viewed. In the near term, it is expected that NFPA’s existing Data Solutions Portal will be utilizing the National Fire Data System repository as the source for its incident data. In the future, additional applications are expected to be developed both by NFPA along with other organizations which will harness the power of the submitted data.

The purpose of the NFDS is to provide the latest, most up-to-date data in order to support evidence-based decision making to a wide variety of stakeholders. The data that resides in the NFDS will be reviewed and exposed to outside applications by NFPA data analysts.

YES! It is expected that many additional tools will be developed to support analysis using data within the NFDS in the future as the NFDS continues to evolve. It is also expected that existing business intelligence tools (i.e., Knime, Alteryx, Tableau) will be able to easily connect and utilize the vast amounts of data the NFDS is expected to collect.

The NFDS is being designed to accept just about any type of fire service related data. The initial proof-of-concept system is focused on incident, health and wellness, and operational data. However, long term the NFDS is expected to handle many different activities and formats, including community risk reduction data, as well as photos, video, and other documents.

Your time is valuable. The process to submit data to the NFDS has been designed to be as easy as possible so regular data submissions can be made. It would be appreciated if you could submit data to the NFDS when you make your regular NFIRS data submission, whether monthly, quarterly, or yearly. If you are a user of Emergency Reporting, you can opt-in to the NFDS submission process, and when you submit your NFIRS data, your data will automatically be submitted to the NFDS! If your current vendor does not have this functionality you can encourage them to create an electronic way to share data with the NFDS.