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MEFIRS 5.0 System Features

The Maine Office of State Fire Marshal maintains the Maine Fire Incident Reporting System (MEFIRS). MEFIRS is the statewide system for tracking fire related emergencies and incidents. MEFIRS is designed as a tool for fire departments to report and maintain computerized records of fires and other fire department incidents in a uniform manner.

The Maine Fire Incident Reporting System utilizes the NFIRS 5.0 software application provided free of charge through the United States Fire Administration. Additional information and user registration information can be obtained through the MEFIRS State Administrator at Joseph.E.Thomas@maine.gov, or through the USFA/NFIRS website at www.nfirs.fema.gov.

Features available through the use of NFIRS 5.0 for incident reporting are:

  • NFIRS 5.0 collects information on a full range of fire department activity. The current NFIRS 5.0 reporting software is fire based.
  • The new system is modular in design. Data is collected for all incident types in a basic module. Additional modules for fires, structure fires, firefighter casualties, civilian casualties, EMS, hazardous materials, Wildland fires, apparatus and personnel are completed as necessary. The apparatus, personnel, EMS, HAZMAT and Wildland fire modules are optional.
  • The address is now formatted to allow computerized queries and street based address matching for GIS purposes.
  • Carbon Monoxide incidents are now captured.
  • Abbreviated paths through the system for nuisance fires with no losses or casualties are now available.
  • Fire losses are now broken into property and contents to better define structure losses. Pre-incident value is also now captured as an optional data element.
  • The ability to capture one-time information for special studies purposes is a feature of the design.
  • Small spills of common hazardous materials such as gasoline are quickly and easily documented. Detailed information is completed optionally only if a serious release of hazardous materials occurs.
  • Fire service resources for apparatus and personnel are now grouped by use at the incident. Specific, detailed information about the use of fire service personnel and apparatus will be collected in a standard way for the first time in optional modules. This will permit manning studies on several levels of use.
  • Specific property information about multiple on-site materials and their use is captured. This will allow identification of non-intended or illegal use of property such as residential drug houses or laboratories.
  • Information on the number of acres burned for all fires for outdoors or Wildland fires is captured. Specific and detailed information about Wildland or large open fires is captured for those fires only.
  • Multiple factors contributing to the cause of the fire are captured for the first time. This allows identification of juvenile fire setters, possible gang involvement in fires, alcohol and cigarette interaction as well as drugs and youth involvement by age categories.
  • Information on equipment involved in starting fires has been greatly expanded. Detailed tracking of specific equipment involved in fire ignitions is possible.
  • Factors that impact fireground suppression or future prevention are captured. Burglar bars, high rack storage, balloon construction and unprotected vertical openings are some examples of this information.
  • Detailed information on the impact of fires on buildings will be captured. Information on the building size, number of stories and status are now available. Specific information on fire origin, damage patterns, flame spread and materials contributing to flame spread are captured as well.
  • Information on detectors and automatic suppression systems has been greatly expanded for the current version of NFIRS. Included are information on the systemís presence, range, power supply, effectiveness, operation and reason for failure.
  • Information on casualties has been expanded to provide a better understanding of the relationship of the casualty to factors contributing to injury as well as the nature and cause of injuries.

Technical Architecture

  • The State of Maine can edit and operate the MEFIRS state database in conjunction with the USFA database.
  • Maintenance and updates to the system and its software may be greatly eased since update distribution and system maintenance can be accomplished through the Internet.
  • Data can be easily packaged on the World Wide Web for the use of states, local fire departments, other organizations and the public.
  • World wide web based on-line reporting, queries and GIS services can make the systemís utility far more powerful than a PC based system residing at state of local offices or departments. The State of Maine MEFIRS system can share their data with local departments, other states, organizations, etc.
  • System design allows the State of Maine the flexibility to continue to process incidents on the MEFIRS server and also take advantage of a networked Internet system approach.