Quick. Time is running out for free access to the National Fire Data System (NFDS) update webinar. Are you interested in improving the way that your department applies data to better inform policies, reinforce gut instinct, or communicate effectively with local policy makers about the changing needs of society and the first responder community? If so, we have a webinar for you. Better yet, we have an entirely new information-sharing prototype in the works for the fire service.
Looking back 100 years, our ability to fight fires was limited by difficulties connecting hoses. Today, our ability to protect communities is often limited by difficulties connecting and sharing data. For two-plus years, NFPA has been working on the development of the NFDS, thanks to a DHS Assistance to Firefighters Grant. The mission is to create a flexible, scalable, and modern infrastructure that is designed to receive, process, store, and share data from local fire departments. Fire service data is any type of data that fire departments or other fire agencies collect to document or manage various activities.
Phase I of the NFDS project ran from 2016 through 2018, and focused on emergency response data. Phase II, which will wrap later this year, is considering community risk data with an eye on outreach, smoke alarms and inspections. While specific fire data problems differ there are some themes that have emerged across the fire service that NFDS will address including inconsistent data silos, delayed data access, and underutilized data.
The National Fire Data System: What We've Built and Where We're Going webinar looks at the historical foundation of fire service data, and covers:
- what has been built over the last two years;
- who has been involved in the process;
- the role that different levels of the fire service, AHJs and others play in broadly improving fire data;
- how stakeholders can get involved in the process; and
- what’s to come in the second phase of the 4-year project.
The need for reliable and relevant fire data is not a revolutionary concept. We live in a data driven world. Ever-increasing calls for fiscal responsibility and organizational accountability require fire departments to use data to justify their existing and requested resources and deployment strategies. The NFDS webinar, which is open to all until March 8, helps different stakeholders understand where we’ve been, what’s being done today, and what we can expect from the next level of fire service data.