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  1. #21
    Senior Member fire69dawg's Avatar
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    Someone basically said it earlier. What it basically boils down to is that there is no one way to record the stats. I've heard that many departments if they roll two engines and a ladder on a structure fire that counts as THREE runs. So realistically, sometimes the equipment gets cancelled and still counts it as a run. If that is the way a dept chooses to crunch numbers, more power to them. I think the only way for an actual stats comparison, would be for a survey based more on percentages. Maybe runs vs. population. But every dept would have to record their numbers the same way. But again, is this a competion to some? I think so. I would like to see a survey that only came out every 2-3 years but that actual stats that everyone can relate too.
    K.A. Dempsey
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    "If you want to make God laugh, tell him what you are doing tomorrow"


  2. #22
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Problem is, we've got people out there that can't even tie their shoelaces who are writing reports.

    FOUND! The answer why we wear pull-up bunker boots

    Truck6's post did send me researching...found out a couple interesting things.

    One, Uniform Crime Reports are filled out monthly and sent to the FBI. These are in no way as detailed as NFIRS. Indeed, there is many crimes that simply aren't tracked, like Kidnapping & Embezzlement. (http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucrquest.htm among other references)

    Those are two major differences -- one, they are looking at a much smaller set of data (8 major crimes with some subdivisions), and two much more summarized locally. This allows the local person responsible for the monthyly UCR to fit their calls into the definitions of the UCR then send it up for better data usability.

    NFIRS has the fatal flaw of relying on a plethora of individuals in most departments (such as each company officer) to fill out long and complex reports, then trying to summarize a tremendous amount of detail on the state/national level.

  3. #23
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    I'd like to see fire loss data also. See who reports so they can be #1 with 500 million in losses or whatever.
    My biggest gripe are departments who run 3 rigs on one call and call it 3 runs. Or one ambulance sees 4 people at a MVC and it is 4 runs.
    Perhaps reporting on EMS runs and we can figure out the rest.

  4. #24
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    NFIRS has the fatal flaw of relying on a plethora of individuals in most departments (such as each company officer) to fill out long and complex reports, then trying to summarize a tremendous amount of detail on the state/national level.
    You're right, Dal, but, as pointed out above, it also has a few other fatal flaws:

    1. Lack of clear definition of some data items and lack of consistency in application and usage across very dissimilar types of departments. There's too much diversity out there in terms of types of departments and departmental operational characteristics to support standardization at the level of detail they want to collect.

    2. Lack of a systematic method of monitoring accuracy and truthfulness. In addition to my example above, I've heard of companies using first arrival of anyone's apparatus to pad the response time stats of their apparatus, people sandbagging on incident reports ("if a small fire causes no appreciable damage, I'll call it a good intent false alarm because there are less screens to fill in"), and I'm sure there are plenty more of these kinds of things going on. Over a relatively short period of time, there will be a clear disincentive for anyone to truthfully report their information, especially if they're being compared to others who don't truthfully report. I predict that padding stats will become standard procedure in short order (if it isn't already).

    3. Lack of infrastructure and manpower to support truthful reporting, even if departments generally want to report truthfully. How much detail are people who've responded to a small to mid-sized incident from work (and need to get back) really going to collect on the scene (vs just guessing at the details from memory later)? Also, how much info is actually being captured by the average dispatch center, as compared to what it could theoretically capture with a full CAD system?


    NFIRS is ultimately going to be a perfect example of good intentions run amok, to the benefit of no one and the detriment of many, at least in the long run. The Garbage In = Garbage Out principle virtually guarentees this to be true, since there's every reason to believe that the system as it stands encourages "garbage in".

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