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After an emergency call

Joe Simon
by Joe Simon, Fire Captain03/06/2018 3:00 pm
Updated: 03/16/2018

The Shakopee Fire Department completes reports for every emergency call that we are dispatched to - 808 last year. The data assists us in tracking a large amount of information, such as the number and type of emergency calls, personnel, apparatus, who was in charge, if anyone was injured or killed, etc. We then use that information for things like staffing levels or where to focus prevention and education efforts, among many others.

2016 Fire in Minnesota CoverIn addition to local department and city use, the reports are submitted to the Minnesota Fire Incident Reporting System. The State Fire Marshal’s Office uses the information to understand and combat the fire problem in Minnesota. It allows them to focus on real fire problems rather than perceptions and assists them in budget planning for staffing and equipment. Fire data is requested on a daily and weekly basis by the media, the public, the fire service and the fire protection community and is used to support legislative initiatives and to guide public fire safety and prevention campaigns.

From there, the reports are submitted to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), the world’s largest, national, annual database of fire incident information. Because not all fire departments complete and submit reports, the database comprises about 75 percent of all reported fires that occur. About 24,000 fire departments report 26 million incidents to NFIRS each year with 1.2 million of those being fires. The U.S. Fire Administration uses the data to analyze the severity and reach of the nation’s fire problem and use that information to develop national public education campaigns, make recommendations for national codes and standards, determine consumer product failures, and support federal legislation.

While our reports are largely completed via computer, we still refer to them as paperwork and they still take time and manpower. Although paperwork is not enjoyable or glamorous, the information is important and the benefits are great. It’s one of those things we do that doesn't make headlines, but we hope - over time - might help us prevent headlines by taking steps to improve fire safety.

  1. Updated: 03/16/2018