1. #1
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    Default NFIRS and 2009 AFG question

    ok so up until now my department had been doing fire reports by hand. For 2008 we did not submit any reports. A new Assistant Chief has been assigned to handle fire reports for 2009. He is currently working with OFPC to set up the user account to file the reports online. Question is if we applied for a 2009 AFG grant but will only be filing reports for 2009 are we going to be ineligible to recieve the grant?

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    I think as long as you are regisitered with NFIRS and begin the process to start reporting, you should be compliant. YOu'll have to complete the independent study NFIRS 5.0 and get registration approved by your state SFM first. Get the registration started first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jam24u View Post
    I think as long as you are regisitered with NFIRS and begin the process to start reporting, you should be compliant. YOu'll have to complete the independent study NFIRS 5.0 and get registration approved by your state SFM first. Get the registration started first.
    the id form has been filled out and submitted. waiting for the password to come in the mail. sorting through the cad reports for 2009 trying to get everything in order.

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    Hi Leeds-

    The old paper reports, fire report programs and the online version all go to NFIRS after being entered into our system. Doing the fire reports can be a daunting task sometimes but there is help out there - if you have trouble or questions, reach out to the Office... Your NFIRS ID is your FDID in NY, you're in the system.

    If you have access to 2008's paper reports, you can possibly still enter them into the system for statistical purposes: check with your County Fire Coordinator. If you need some help, reach out to the County Fire Coordinator, or send me a PM and I'll see what help I can provide.

    Stay Safe!

    Benjamin G Webster
    Fire Protection Specialist
    Hazardous Materials / Homeland Security Bureau
    NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control

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    medic190,
    our 2008 records are in shambles, most of them are missing. i could prolly get the cad reports from the county (i'm a dispatcher) problem is idk if they will still accept the 2008 reports. if they do and i'll need them to get the grant then we'll start there. if we can just start from scratch for 2009 for the 2009 afg grant we'd like to start there as we have all the info already.

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    I'd start with 2010.

    If you have been filing any reports with the State Fire Marshal or whoever received the reports, just do a paper report for 2008 & 2009 if you have that data. Depending on the number of calls in 2009, you might never get them all in. It gives you time to learn the NFIRS system and begin with a new year.

    The begin date is not as important as becoming compliant.

    If you run alot of calls, it is easy to get behind if you don't have a dedicated person doing the data entry. We assign three Captains with an Administrative Asst that oversees data entry.

    You want to have some extra people trained on the system in case of illness or other things that may pop up.

    It sounds like medic190 is going to be a great help to you, so do listen to him over what I tell you.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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    AFG requires you to file nfirs reports during the period of performance of the grant.

    We got one in 2003 and thats when we started full reporting. Prior to that we only filed structure fire and wildland fires with the state. We purchased Firehouse software for our dept to help us get our paperless system up & running. What was a completely unorganized collection of paper reports ,inventory, training records, Vehicle maintenance, hose testing records, etc is now accessible on the computer. It does take a couple of folks to enter all the data and keep it up to date, but sure makes it a lot easier to find info when someone [osha, dept of labor , or insurance company] comes looking for info. Also makes sending NFIRS data off a whole lot easier.

    There are many different software packages out there that will do your basic NFIRS reporting, some free & others not. We found the free one offered by our state to be very unworkable unless your a computer geek and knew D-base.

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    we have never done anything with nfirs. Do we need to get 2009's calls in now for us to be eligible for the grant? We only have like 5 to enter.

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    If you only had 5 calls for 2009, then you could start with 2009. It will take you longer to learn the software than enter the data.

    You will need to contact your State Fire Marshal or whoever you send your incident report data to each year. They will advise you how to proceed and may provide you with everything you need, except a computer.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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    but is it necessary to have it for this year? We are 100% volly and our records guy is leaving soon for the holidays. Could we just start in 2010?

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    I'll tell you, the best thing I've done was use some excess funds I had from my '08 grant to buy "risk management software" that happened to include the NFIRS modules. Instead of having to train guys on NFIRS, which I find to be a PITA, I've spent all of about 30 minutes showing them around the drop-down boxes and all on this software. It's made my life a LOT easier.

    Before this sofware, we did paper reporting and I input the information into NFIRS. This is a royal pain, especially when you have guys who write awful or forget to put information in. Having the ability to type, most guys (I've got a young group) can type faster than they can write and I don't have to mess with trying to decipher the writing (something about this computer-savvy generation). We run 250-300 calls per year now, compared to the 150 we did when I started reporting to NFIRS.

    If you somehow end up with excess funds, especially if it's beyond the $5K you'll likely use for other equipment you need and has to be spent on fire prevention (although, that's changed a bit with the 50% for training rule this year), it's something worth looking into.

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    catch, how much did the software cost?

    And after looking it appears we have 20 or so to do.
    Last edited by drakescrossing; 12-15-2009 at 11:25 PM.

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    When you accept the grant, you agree to report to NFIRS during the next year, or one year. So you can start with 2010. My only thought was if you had so few for 2009, you could put those in and get them out of the way.

    Rule of thumb, once you start NFIRS, you want to keep it up. The software is worth it and more user friendly than the NFIRS software. We use our own MS ACCESS Database system and report at the end of the year.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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    Quote Originally Posted by drakescrossing View Post
    but is it necessary to have it for this year? We are 100% volly and our records guy is leaving soon for the holidays. Could we just start in 2010?
    The requirement is to report during the Period of Performance. The software would have been eligible to ask for in your application bu there is no "do over" button. As previously mentioned if you have excess funds, ask to use it for the NFIRS software and some that does "risk assessment" also and kill two birds with one stone. You will need both for future applications anyway.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    So there is a software system that makes NFIRS easier? Having to read through about 500 pages and with no downloadable summary like with NIMS is a (W)itch. Testing too.

    So how much Catch?

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