NFORS FAQs


Here below lists of the Frequent Asked Questions about NFORS. Click a topic to learn more...

 

Yes. Implementation is taking place department by department throughout the U.S. Regardless of size, your department can use the system at no cost. The NFORS modules and reports have been designed to be user friendly, encourage accurate and timely data capture, and allow data exchange with systems like FireCARES. The NFORS project was developed in parallel and is linked to the Fire Community Assessment Response Evaluation System (FireCARES) Project (www.firecares.org).

NFORS is comprised of three modules.

  1. Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Module- Available Now
  2. Firefighter Exposure Module – Available Now
  3. Incident/Investigation Module- Available Spring 2018

Each module is stand alone with its own analytics but also connected with the other modules. All data are encrypted both in transit and at rest.

Both the CAD and the Exposure Modules are available NOW.

The first module is known as NFORS-CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch). This module is implemented by connecting with a fire department's CAD, RMS (Records Management System), or data warehouse, for automatic extraction of operational data for ALL TYPE responses. The NFORS-CAD may require minimal programming modification to a local CAD to assure that the appropriate operational data elements are captured. As operational data flow from a local fire department CAD system into the NFORS-CAD Library, they are immediately analyzed and available for use in local department reporting. The data are updated as often as the department desires (usually every 5 minutes) and dynamic reports are continually updated. These data are also prepared for use in the fire department's FireCARES page.

The NFORS Firefighter Exposure Module is also available. This module is set up to operate on individual firefighter's and/or paramedic's personal device. The module is downloaded and then connects with the CAD module to cue responders to complete the exposure module following an incident response. If there is no exposure, then the firefighter clicks 'no exposure' and the incident is recorded in the diary. If there is an exposure, then the appropriate section in the app is completed with a few clicks and the data are recorded both in the national database and on the firefighter's personal device.

The Incident/Investigation Module is under construction and will begin field testing in early 2018. Once available, this module will complete the NFORS series. This module will add powerful insight for community risk reduction.

To implement NFORS in your department requires an email to 'contact us'. A helpdesk ticket will be created for you and you will be contacted within 24-48 hours to set up a conference call to discuss implementation.

Once scheduled, the conference call should include the Chief of Department, Operations Chief, IT expertise (and/or CAD Administrators), data administrators and/or accreditation manager. The Call will include a google hangout session for a live demo of NFORS modules and analytics. The entire process takes about 1 hour.

Once the call is scheduled, please have everyone in the same room with a computer/projector setup with high speed internet connection - google chrome preferred.

If everyone is not in the same room, they should be at their own computer with internet and google chrome.

Prior to the call you will be sent a google hangout link for a live demo of NFORS modules and a technical discussion of how to get started.

** If desired, the same call can include a live walk through and a "hands on" demo of FireCARES so that you can learn as we go. If you want the FireCARES/NFORS combined demo, please go to www.firecares.org to get a login before the demo. The Chief can get a login first and then authorize others by adding their emails to the system.

No. The NFORS project is funded by the DHS/FEMA Assistance to Firefighter's Grants. At this time, there are no costs for implementation and use.

The NFORS project team and legal counsel have assembled a standard data exchange MOU for local fire departments. The MOU is available for download here. Where necessary, the MOU may be edited by local governments and sent back to the NFORS team for consideration.

All NFORS data reside on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The data are encrypted and secured both in transit and at rest.

Local Fire Departments still own their data. All data are also accumulated into a national database that lives on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in a secured environment. The data are curated and managed by the FireCARES/NFORS Project Team. This is the same group of fire service partners that conducted the NIST Residential and High-Rise Studies. The list of partners may be seen here.

Local Fire Departments can always access their own data real time. Additionally, bonafide researchers can request access to aggregate deidentified data for exploratory and surveillance studies. Researchers should send an email through the 'Contact Us' portal for consideration.

FireCARES and NFORS are parallel projects both funded by the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grants. NFORS is a data gathering application (software) that links with a fire departments CAD or records management system (RMS) to ingest operational data directly without additional firefighter input. That data can then be analyzed with in the NFORS system for instant reports and it can be loaded into the FireCARES system for use in calculating and updating a fire department's Performance Score and Safe Grade.

NFORS can be used regardless of whether your department chooses to continue entering data into NFIRS. NFORS CAD Module uses technology to link with the departments CAD, RMS, or other data resources to automatically upload data so no data entry is required. The Firefighter Exposure App (Module) requires minimal individual entry to create a career diary and provide exposure data for firefighter cancer surveillance projects. Since there are no costs, NFORS is a great option for high level, live, real time analytics.

The reporting of fire data to NFIRS is voluntary and not mandated at the Federal level. State participation in NFIRS is voluntary.

Local Fire Department participation is based on one of the two following requirements:

  • Receipt of funds from the FEMA Assistance to Fire Firefighter Grant Program State Fire Incident Reporting Requirements. The Partners are working to have NFORS included as an option for AFG grant requirements.
  • An individual state's requirement to collect and submit NFIRS data. See the list here: http://www.nfors.org/assets/StateFireData_Requirements.pdf
    Red = NFIRS required, Blue = State Fire Marshal Option and Green = NFIRS Not required.

In 2017, all 50 state Fire Marshal's Offices were contacted and asked about state statutes, regulations or policy regarding NFIRS fire data collection and submission. A total of 17 states have either laws, statutes, regulations, or policy that require NFIRS data to be collected and submitted. An additional 4 states allow the State Fire Marshal to establish data collection rules, guidelines, or recommendations for fire data collection based on NFIRS system. The remaining 29 states have no requirement to collect or submit fire data based on NFIRS though some have chosen to do so.

 

 


 

 


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