Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1

    Question Record Retention

    Hi guys I am from a small Volunteer Fire Dept. and we are trying to determine/figure out a guideline of how long to keep records. Does any one know of a set guideline.

    Thanks for your help!


  2. #2
    Forum Member RyanEMVFD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Why? It's not like you're going to visit me! But I'm near Waco, Texas
    Posts
    2,386

    Default

    The ambulance service that I work at has to keep their records for at least seven years.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

  3. #3
    Forum Member HuntPA's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northwest PA
    Posts
    472

    Default

    Check with your state department of health on EMS sheets. IRS says 7 years on financial records. As for actual run sheets, that may be dictated by your state. We keep our sheets 2 years and have everything in Firehouse Software.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Jefferson County, NY USA
    Posts
    2,279

    Default

    Can't cite a source, but IIRC, I was told that EMS records must be held for X years after a juvenile reaches the age of majority - which means you could theoretically hold them for 23-25 years if you dealt with a newborn.

    But the answer is with your state EMS agency, and state fire, for the fire records.

    If there's a reason to hold stuff for any length of time, it's because that "routine" call several years ago might end up in court, through no fault of yours.

    On the other hand, because we haven't thrown any of our fire run sheets away, I was able to document our call numbers on our website from the late 1950's...

    With the cost of scanners (document type) and storage media these days, you could probably store your stuff electronically for next to forever, as long as the media is of archival quality and continues in use. I've got an awful lot of 5.25" diskettes I'll probably never read again (not that that's really a problem).
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,132

    Default

    What tree said...

  6. #6
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Niagara Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    1,924

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    Can't cite a source, but IIRC, I was told that EMS records must be held for X years after a juvenile reaches the age of majority - which means you could theoretically hold them for 23-25 years if you dealt with a newborn.

    But the answer is with your state EMS agency, and state fire, for the fire records.

    If there's a reason to hold stuff for any length of time, it's because that "routine" call several years ago might end up in court, through no fault of yours.

    On the other hand, because we haven't thrown any of our fire run sheets away, I was able to document our call numbers on our website from the late 1950's...

    With the cost of scanners (document type) and storage media these days, you could probably store your stuff electronically for next to forever, as long as the media is of archival quality and continues in use. I've got an awful lot of 5.25" diskettes I'll probably never read again (not that that's really a problem).
    Tree,
    Its DOH policy that PCRs be kept for 7 years or until a minor reaches the age of majority (18 years old). We have the policy that we will keep all records for 18 years just so we dont have to root through them all.

    As far as non fire paperwork, like personnell records you should check with your states Department of Labor, even though you may be a volunteer fire department, the firefighters may be considered employees and therefore the records are their employment records.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    353

    Default

    IMHO, it is best to keep fire run records forever. Never know when something ( HazMat incident, etc.) may end up in court. You may need to rely on those records to prove that you did something or didn't do something. After running many calls, your mind can be "foggy" on the details of an incident. That fire run report can refresh your memory. You may also need those fire run records if a member needs to prove they attended those fire calls, if they need to prove a disability or disease from responding.

    Another benefit of keeping fire run reports forever, is if you have a serial arsonist in your community. A teenager can start young and burn things. As he gets older, he might light fires through adulthood. You may need those fire run reports to look back at suspicious fires.

    Another overlooked record is maintenance records. Keep those records (servicing, etc.) as long as you own that apapratus or equipment (SCBA, etc.). You may need to look back to see when servicing was done.

    If you ever joined a FD or even taken a leadership position in your current FD, you will appreciate all those records from your predecesors.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Location
    ALIQUIPPA PA USA
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Fiscal records - at least 7 years (IRS)

    Business meeting records- forever

    Medical Records - forever...go ask you local MD how long he keeps his records. The files in the office are active patients, most practices rent storage areas for old records

    Employee Records- forever. someone might do background check and you need to be able to verify dates of employment. Volunteer departments are counted as employers.

    Vehicle Records - at least as long as you own it. These records should be kept in their own file cabinets away from all others. I know of a handful of incidents involving accidents where the police secured records until they could seized which meant a padlock on the cabinet they were kept. No one had access to any other records during that time because they were locked up. Also keep track of the people that regularly work on your departments vehicles, in the event of an accident lawsuit you can prove the repairs were in accordance to standards.

    Check your states laws for companies, somewhere along the line your department was probably incorporated. Also if you are a registered non profit there are probably more rules for 501(c)3's from the IRS.

    Just because we are the local fire department does not mean we can do it how we want. We are in effect small business and need to be run on the admin side as that

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    West Point, VA
    Posts
    435

    Default

    Directly from our accountant on financial documents:
    01) Copies of notices from IRS or VA Dept of Taxation acknowledging that your organization is exempt from income taxes (from IRS) or exempt from Sales tax (VA Dept of Taxation) should be kept forever.
    02) You should also keep copies of Exempt Income Tax Returns (forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-T) forever, too.
    03) Documents pertaining to purchases of depreciable equipment should be kept until 3 years after it has been fully depreciated - since depreciation life could have been 7 or 10 years, you probably should keep those records for 13 or 14 years.
    04) Anything pertaining to real estate purchases should be kept until at least 4 years after you have disposed of, or sold, it.
    05) Other documents not falling into the above categories probably should be kept at least 4 years. Since your organization is non-profit and nearly all books, records and tax returns have to be made available to the general public, I suggest that you keep the last 7 years.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Driving Record
    By TheCity in forum Hiring & Employment Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-09-2009, 11:42 AM
  2. You can keep THAT record pal.
    By FlyingKiwi in forum The Off Duty Forums
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-14-2007, 03:46 PM
  3. Retention
    By sompete in forum Emergency Services Administration
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-22-2005, 11:26 AM
  4. Retention
    By zweasel in forum Volunteer Forum
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-20-2004, 03:03 AM
  5. Criminald Record
    By rescuepimp911 in forum Fire Explorer & Jr. Firefighting
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-29-2002, 11:00 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts