Determining If Company Officers Produce More Accurate and Consistent NFIRS Reports in the Virginia Beach Fire Department [open pdf - 209KB]
"The problem is the Virginia Beach Fire Department did not know if the NFIRS [National Fire Incident Reporting System] reports were more accurate and consistent when completed by the company officer as compared to when they were completed by a firefighter. The purpose of this research was to examine the accuracy and consistency of NFIRS reports in the Virginia Beach Fire Department when completed by a company officer compared to when they are completed by a firefighter. Descriptive research methodology was used to answer the following research questions: (a) What are the standards for accurate and consistent data entry for NFIRS reports? (b) How do the NFIRS reports in the Virginia Beach Fire Department compare to the standard when completed by a company officer? (c) How do the NFIRS reports in the Virginia Beach Fire Department compare to the standard when completed by a firefighter? (d) What are the possible contributing factors to the difference between company officer and firefighter data entry in the Virginia Beach Fire Department? Accuracy and consistency standards were established using the NFIRS Complete Reference Guide. A review of building fire NFIRS reports for a six month period was performed, compared to the standard for accuracy, and divided by whether the report was completed by a company officer or firefighter. The company officers were more accurate than the firefighters by a score of 87.4% compared to 86.2%. Consistency was determined by reviewing fire reports for a live bum evolution at a high-rise structure. Company officers were consistent 75.9% as opposed to 51.7% for firefighters. Training and experience were investigated as contributing factors to the differences. Company officers were better trained but firefighters were completing more reports. It was recommended the VBFD [Virginia Beach Fire Department] add training after four years of service and allow delegation of reports to those firefighters only."
United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/