NFPA and The Fire Protection Research Foundation recently embarked on a “smart-firefighting” project in an effort to help the fire service use data to enhance firefighter safety and operations, says Kathleen Almand, vice-president of NFPA’s Research Division.
“The NFPA’s Fire Analysis and Research Division has invited input from the fire service on how we can make the data we collect more useful to our fire service constituents,” she writes. “We’ve made several big changes as a result, including the development of an electronic survey tool, and changes to how we present our results. The annual fire experience survey is a cornerstone of NFPA’s fire loss data collection and analysis program, so these changes represent a path for us to learn and do more.”
To that end, the Foundation and the Research Division are developing new methods to make it easier to analyze the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) data from the U.S. Fire Administration and, with other organizations, to envision the next version of NFIRS. The Foundation is also collaborating with the International Association of Fire Fighters to develop national estimates from fire department data to aid in the development of the National Fire Operations Reporting System, a new data collection system related to fire operations.
For more on the challenges the Foundation and the Research Division face as they devise solutions to better use data to address the nation’s fire problem, read Almand’s column “Data Connection” in the latest issue of NFPA Journal.
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