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Maine Fire Incident Reporting System
"Fighting Fire With Facts"
The Maine Fire Incident Reporting System is an information and data-gathering system initiated and supported by the Office of State Fire Marshal. The goal of the Maine Fire Incident Reporting System, or MEFIRS, is to encourage fire departments to use a standardized incident reporting system to report fire incidents and emergency services incidents.The MEFIRS information is reviewed and uploaded to the National Fire Information Reporting System (NFIRS), which is jointly administered by the U.S. Fire Administration and the National Fire Information Council. In the State of Maine, the Office of State Fire Marshal functions as the statesí fire service representative to the National Fire Information Council.
After returning from an incident, fire departments make out the appropriate NFIRS reports. Maine statute, Title 25 MRSA §2395, requires that Fire Chiefs shall submit to the State Fire Marshal an incident report for each response made, regardless of whether an actual fire occurred. These reports are in an electronic computer software application within a fire and records management system. These standard NFIRS forms contain a core of information common to every stateís reporting system. Local fire departments forward completed NFIRS data to the Office of State Fire Marshal. The State Fire Marshal submits data compiled from all participating jurisdictions to the U.S Fire Administration. Annual NFIRS data are used as the basis for the U.S. Fire Administrationís publication "Fire In The United States," which is the single most comprehensive reference on the nature and scope of the fire problem in the United States.
State Uses of MEFIRS
Data from MEFIRS is used by the State Fire Marshalís Office in the preparation of the annual report. Information gathered from local fire departments provides a resource of statewide statistical data that can be shared to help local fire chiefs determine fire trends and specific areas of fire loss that may need to be addressed. The application of the Maine Fire Incident Reporting System provides the critical link to this data collection sharing.
Local Fire Department Uses of MEFIRS
Because of the number of departments that are using MEFIRS, it is difficult to document all of the ways that they are using the data. For departments in the State of Maine that rely heavily on MEFIRS for reporting fire statistics, an important advantage is that the local fire departments can compare their own productivity and effectiveness with the State average. They can also seek out statistics on fire departments in communities similar to their own, and conduct comparisons.
The Future of MEFIRS and Local Fire Department Use
The resources available through the Maine Fire Incident Reporting System allow a local fire department to do studies that may include identifiying trends in the number of calls to the fire department, the types of calls made, and the origin of calls. This information might be used to determine the best location for a fire station or if another tank truck is needed. Data can also provide justification of fire department budgets to the city or town council.
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