Advanced incident data reporting platform NERIS set to launch by USFA

July 1, 2024

Introducing NERIS: USFA’s new incident data reporting platform

As reported by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), in 2023, fire departments across the United States submitted over 30 million incident reports.

Analyzing these reports provides essential insights that help improve safety measures for both firefighters and communities.

This data guides policy and budget decisions at various governmental levels.

For example, fire incident data has informed the priorities for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which has awarded over $8 billion since 2001.

The main challenge for local fire departments is not the availability of data but the limitations in skilled staff, time, and technology.

Many departments struggle with recruiting and retaining firefighters, as well as equipping them with necessary training and tools.

Leaders frequently turn to data for insights on staffing levels, response times, and resource prioritization.

Launch of the National Emergency Response Information System

In May 2023, the USFA began developing the National Emergency Response Information System (NERIS), a new platform designed to overcome the challenges faced by local fire departments in reporting and analyzing incident data.

NERIS is set to replace the existing National Fire Incident Reporting System and will launch in late Fall 2024.

NERIS will feature a responsive design, making it accessible on mobile devices, tablets, laptops, and desktops.

Fire departments will be able to capture incident reports directly using a NERIS-provided data capture app, ensuring more accurate and near real-time data.

The platform will also integrate local data from computer-aided dispatch systems and records management systems, increasing data accuracy and reducing manual entry burdens.

Adapting to new and complex threats

The world is facing new and increasingly complex threats, such as higher fuel loads in residential structures, aging infrastructure, and wildland-urban interface fires.

NERIS is being developed to allow for consistent data collection and analytics on emerging fire and all-hazards issues.

This will ensure the ability to address new and unpredictable hazards quickly.

By participating in a national incident reporting system, fire departments can compare their performance and outcomes across different incident types, times of day, and staffing levels.

The data collected will include geospatial information and modernized incident types, resulting in higher-value analytics for local fire departments.

Enhanced decision-making and advocacy

NERIS aims to provide fire departments with the intelligence needed to inform strategies and tactics.

It will include optional time stamps to record key emergency incident benchmarks, allowing for better assessment of incident performance.

This analysis will help departments advocate for necessary funding, resources, training, and support to handle current and future challenges.

The future of incident data analysis lies not just in documenting events but in discovering effective strategies.

NERIS will equip local fire services with the data-informed intelligence needed to protect communities and ensure firefighter safety.

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