NFPA receives Assistance to Firefighters Grant for new National Fire Data System to help the fire service with operational and community risk decision-making

September 15, 2016 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has been awarded an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) to begin the development of a National Fire Data System (NFDS). The goal of NFDS is to address the priority needs of the U.S. fire service and generate quality local and national data for both operational and community risk reduction decision-making.  The powerful new tool will incorporate substantial learning from the recently AFG-funded NFORS project and utilize all available and relevant data sources.  

The NFDS will serve the needs of fire departments, firefighters/officers, local policy makers and those engaged in fire prevention/community risk reduction efforts. A key component of the NFDS initiative is an in-depth assessment of the needs of key stakeholder groups. NFDS will be designed to: 

  1. track and measure emergency response resources and capability, both locally and nationally
  2. provide data to inform operational efficiency at the local fire department level
  3. create a career diary for firefighters to capture exposure/health & wellness information
  4. collect information necessary for fire prevention and community risk reduction efforts  

“NFPA has a long history of data acquisition and analysis to support the needs of the fire service,” said Jim Pauley, NFPA’s president and chief executive officer. “Last year we began a key strategic initiative to meet the needs of our stakeholders by acquiring data storage and analytics capacity, building predictive analytics staff expertise, and hosting workshops to determine the data needs of different groups. The AFG grant allows us to establish the NFDS groundwork, and develop the underlying data system and application requirements to meet the needs of the fire service.”

Dr. Matt Hinds-Aldrich, formerly with Atlanta Fire Rescue Department’s Assessment & Planning Section, was recently hired to support the NFDS project as its program manager. Reporting to Dr. Nathaniel Lin, NFPA’s data analytics & strategy lead, he will coordinate with the fire service on data to support performance management, organizational problem solving, and the implementation of predictive community risk reduction strategies.

After internal discussion and with written support from the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), Metro Chiefs, National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), and the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE), NFPA submitted a grant application to secure the 1.2 million dollar AFG to initiate the development of the NFDS. 

The NFDS will not be designed to replace the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS); as it evolves through modern data analytics, it may, however, serve as a means for fire departments to more easily report fire incident information to NFIRS while capturing and utilizing operational, health and wellness, and other local data for day-to-day, tactical and fire prevention decision-making. 

The grant, which has an issuance date of September 1, 2016, has a fulfillment period of two years. It is understood that the full development and implementation of NFDS will not be complete in this time period. 

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.


Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275