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My department is made of a number of companies, most of which are in separate buildings. After a call each company documents their role call and what equipment was used on company run sheets, the IC also documents the call using the NFIRS Report Form, than they fax copies of the reports to a central office. At the office all of the call sheets/NFIRS reports are sorted, combined, and the information is entered into the Firehouse 5.0 Software. After which, the information is uploaded to the Division of Fire and Safety.

The issues that I have are in three categories:
-The lack of timely completion of the NFIRS Report Form from the Incident Commanders
-The lack of timely completion of Company run sheets
-The poor documentation practices when it comes to the above mentioned reports. For example, illegible handwriting and leaving important fields blank.

Is there anyone that is having the same problems?
If you are how are you handling the issues?
If you are not having the problems could you provide feedback as to how you handle your documentation to prevent this from occurring?
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
DON’T be the next one, BE safe!

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Replies to This Discussion

I think that some of these problems are universal, especially the illegibility and blank boxes. One thing that has worked for us as far as getting the paper report completed in a timely fashion is to put the roll call and equipment used information on the back of the NFIRS sheet. This ensures that the report is completed after each run. As far as the blank boxes, I suspect that a major cause is confusion created by the large selection of responses. While they may seem self explanitory to some, not all see them that way. To counteract this, a good narrative helps. It may be as simple as leaving a list of what needs to be included (type of construction, size of building, occupancy type, where the fire was, what was on fire, how far did it extend, how was it extinguished, etc.) I've found that some people are better off just writting out what happened, and this information can be used to figure out what should go in the boxes.
Thanks for your response, I appreciate the information. I will work with my department to have the members write better narratives so that we can interpret and fill in the blanks with the correct information.
Thanks for your time.
DON’T be the next one, BE safe!
Education on the importance of the reports is the first action taken
If these members don't understand the importance of these reports and their timely and proper completion, maybe they are not qualified to be officers
A policy regarding the time parameters that the reports should be completed is another, but the policy must be consistently enforced by dept supervisors or it is not woirth the paper it is written on. This is the key to your whole problem -- no one wants to have the balls to step up to the plate -- sometimes a shot must be fired that is heard around the world
When all else fails, disciplinary action is the last resort
In a career dept, this is effective
at the volunteer level, it is more diificult -- possibly using progressive discipline might help with removal from the the officer position as a possibility
when the lawsuits from incomplete, inaccaurate reports start coming in and members who filled out those reports (or didn't fill them out) begin taking real heat (such as monetary fines), the tune may change
just trying to help
stay safe aa
Thanks for the response. I can’t tell you how many times I bring up the fact that it’s all about Good Documentation Process (GDP), but no one seems to listen or care. Coming from a regulated industry working for a pharmaceutical company everything that I do at work is under the scrutiny of the federal government. I have carried this over to my company by procedurealizing requirements from the Division of Fire and Safety, NFPA, POSHA, and DOT. We have tried to implement these on a department level, but have had resistance: “are you kidding me”, “I’ll do it later”, “I don’t have time for this”, you get the picture. I guess the mentality of the volunteer still needs to come a long way from riding the rails. As I have said before, the course that you gave at the Monmouth Cty Fire Academy gave me the drive to make the proper changes in my company, so at least we are going in the right direction. I’ll just have to keep pushing for the same for my department.
Thanks for your support.
DON’T be the next one, BE safe.
sometimes enforcement thru treahcery is the alternative they leave u with
if the chief does not support and enforce, it will be his a**
if u only take care of your little part of the world, u r covered
stay safe
I discussed the documentation issue with the Vice-President of the Department. We came up with a mutual possible solution to the documentation issue. We outright threatened them, that if the reports were not done by a certain date, the NIFRS committee would request that the Mayor and Council remove them from office. It seemed to have worked; since that time we have all but the most recent reports. I’ll take that for now.
I feel like I’m back in the 5th grade, “I’m gonna tell on you if you don’t stop.” This from adults, ha.
I appreciate your time.
I think that you may have one of my members in the Firefighter 1 class at Monmouth Cty, Austin Chang. He has enjoyed every minute so far. See you at the academy.
DON’T be the next one, BE safe!


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