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The MEFIRS/NFIRS State Program Manager is Michelle Mason Webber. Her contact information is as follows:
Michelle Mason Webber
Office of State Fire Marshal
52 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0052
Office phone: (207) 626-3873
Visit the MEFIRS login screen here--it is best used in the Google Chrome web browser.
Why Should Fire Departments Report Incidents?
Maine statute Title 25 M.R.S. §2395 requires that Fire Chiefs shall submit to the State Fire Marshal an incident report for each response made, regardless of whether an actual fire occurred. After returning from an incident, fire departments create an appropriate report and either send the report to Michelle Mason Webber, or enter it into the MEFIRS system. The State Fire Marshal submits data compiled from all participating fire departments to the U.S Fire Administration.
Documenting the individuals who were on incidents will aid firefighters if they experience an injury and need to investigate disability:
§18511. Presumption of disability for active firefighters.
Documenting the individuals who were on incidents also helps with worker compensation and presumption of cancer or cardiovascular/pulmonary disease
- §112. Workers' compensation coverage for forest firefighters
- §328. Cardiovascular injury or disease and pulmonary disease suffered by a firefighter or resulting in a firefighter's death
- §328-B. Cancer suffered by a firefighter
The Maine Fire & EMS Incident Reporting System (MEFIRS) is an information and data-gathering system supported by the State Fire Marshal's Office, the Maine EMS office and the Maine Forest Service. The goal is to encourage fire departments to use a standardized incident reporting system to report their activities. The MEFIRS fire report information is reviewed and uploaded to the National Fire Information Reporting System (NFIRS), which is jointly administered by the U.S. Fire Administration and the National Fire Information Council. In the State of Maine, the Office of State Fire Marshal functions as the state's fire service representative to the National Fire Information Council.
If a department is unable to respond to an incident, or if they were cancelled before apparatus left the station, no NFIRS report is needed. However, Michelle Mason Webber has create an Excel spreadsheet for years 2020-2025 so departments can document when they couldn't respond to an incident: Non-responded calls (Excel). This documentation may help with determining if more personnel are needed, or if mutual aid agreements need to be modified.
Uses of MEFIRS data
Data from MEFIRS is used by the State Fire Marshal’s Office in preparing the annual report. Information gathered from local fire departments provides a resource of statewide statistical data that can be shared, to help local fire chiefs determine fire trends and specific areas of fire loss that may need to be addressed in their jurisdictions. Local fire departments can do studies identifying trends in the number of calls to the fire department, the types of calls made, and the origin of calls. This information might be used to determine the best location for a fire station or if another tank truck is needed. Data can also provide justification of fire department budgets to a city or town council, or town selectmen. Annual NFIRS data are used for the U.S. Fire Administration’s publication "Fire In The United States," which describes the nature and scope of the fire problem in the United States.
MEFIRS documents created by Michelle Mason Webber
A "Hints" document that provides basic guidance on how to do some MEFIRS fire tasks. This document will be updated when deemed necessary, because many tasks can be researched in MEFIRS' Help/University section: Hints on MEFIRS tasks (PDF, 11 pages, 266 KB) *** updated 12/06/19
A list of State Plus-One codes for fire reports. Please contact Michelle if you have a situation where you believe a new statewide Plus-One code needs to be created. She will assess the existing NFIRS code situation and decide if a new Plus-One code needs to be created. Maine State Plus-One codes (PDF, 3 pages, 103 KB) *** updated 2/19/2020
A "How to Add or Inactivate a Person's MEFIRS Account" guide. How to Add or Inactivate a Person's MEFIRS Account (PDF, 1 page, 275 KB) ***updated 4/01/2020
A "MEFIRS Report Writer Fire Report Hints" document that provides basic guidance on how to use Report Writer to find some reports she has created that summarizes fire run report and training/activities information: MEFIRS Report Writer Fire Report Hints (PDF, 8 pages, 273 KB) *** updated 1/31/2020
A "MEFIRS Training & Activity Module Hints" document that provides basic information on setting up data elements for training and activity forms and events: MEFIRS Training & Activities Module Hints (PDF, 7 pages, 675 KB) *** updated 12/30/19
A guidance document on how to document COVID-19 NFIRS Special Study guidelines for an NFIRS report (PDF, 1 page, 78 KB) ***updated 4/6/2020
News on MEFIRS - from Michelle Mason Webber
October 30, 2019: Image Trend has announced that their Elite platform (our MEFIRS system is in Elite) will not be supported by Internet Explorer after December 31, 2019. This means that if you use the MEFIRS system in Explorer, you will have to choose another browser to use with the system. Image Trend recommends Google Chrome, because the Elite platform was built to work best in Chrome.
June 12, 2019: If Maine fire departments want to host a MEFIRS fire report training for themselves and other fire departments, please contact me. This training would focus on how fire departments can set up their Apparatus and Personnel, and how to complete an NFIRS-compatible fire report in the online MEFIRS reporting system. I don’t plan to train in late fall or winter because traveling becomes uncertain. This is a general flyer about the training: MEFIRS fire report training (PDF, 1 page). I will be shutting down the training schedule for the season after early December.
February 8, 2018: Image Trend has told our office that, instead of providing the Scheduler module that we contracted for, they have decided to offer another company's product for MEFIRS scheduling. The program, called CrewSense, is available to fire departments who contract directly with Image Trend for this feature. The CrewSense website link is here: https://www.crewsense.com/
December 5, 2017: Great news for MEFIRS users regarding fire reports for the Maine Forest Service! I have confirmation from my contact at the Maine Forest Service (MFS) that the fire departments who are currently using MEFIRS to do their fire reports no longer need to send paper Wildland reports to the Maine Forest Service. THE MFS is linked into the MEFIRS system and they receive information on Wildland-based fires when a fire department creates a MEFIRS report that indicates a fire impacted a Wildland. This system is working well, and we want people to know that your MEFIRS report is replacing the paper version. However, the MFS still encourages folks to reach out to them so they can investigate fires in all cases. This keeps the line of communication open between the fire services and the Maine Forest Service.
However, for those departments who use third-party software to do fire reports (such as Emergency Reporting), you still need to contact the MFS ranger for your area and let them know about Wildland fire reports; either in an email with the report attached or with radio or phone call notification. Whatever method you have been using to notify the MFS.
September 13, 2017: I have updated the Fire Incident report form, which contains fixes to the Wildland/Fire module conflicts. The Maine Forest Service (MFS) has joined MEFIRS to document their fires and to view any fire department reports that involve Wildlands. A critical part of this reporting is the answer you give to the Basic module/Location panel’s question “Is this location identified only by latitude/longitude?” This question will only show up if the Incident Type is one of the following codes: 140-143, 160, 170-173, 561, 622, 631 or 632.
If you have any type of a street address (or near a street address) for your incident location, then choose NO for this question. If you have only latitude/longitude coordinates for the location, choose YES. Forest Rangers will be answering YES to this question most often, because they have the best chance of being in a remote location found by using latitude/longitude coordinates. Forest Rangers have “read-only” permissions to view fire department Wildland reports: they will be able to link their reports to a department’s report within their section of MEFIRS (you won’t be able to see their linked report). The MFS will be happy to share their reports with a fire department, but they will have to email it to you. They cannot provide direct access in MEFIRS to their linked report because of law enforcement concerns. Please contact your local Forest Ranger if you need a copy of their report.
August 4, 2017: Michelle has noticed that many fire reports are showing up in department's Incidents Lists with scores less than 100, which means they won’t be imported into the national NFIRS system as valid reports. Those fire departments that create an NFIRS report from an EMS report need to go into the NFIRS report to finish collecting data for NFIRS. It isn’t just a process of making the associated NFIRS report and then it is done: you have to finish the NFIRS report and get the score to 100 in order for it to be “complete”. Many times errors in the EMS module are because NFIRS wants a Patient Numberfor a patient, and the patient “box” is out lined in red. When you click in the box, you get a screen showing where you have to put the Patient Number, which is actually the count of the patient (patient #1 would be 001, patient # 2 will be 002, etc.). NFIRS wants to know how many patients were in this incident. Please make sure to hit the green “SAVE” button when the errors are fixed, so the information will be saved.
April 5, 2017: This is a notice that the Fire Marshal’s Office is discontinuing support of the federal NFIRS fire reporting system on June 1, 2017. This date coincides with Maine EMS moving over the last batch of agencies (EMS agencies and duel fire departments) to the new state MEFIRS system.
What does this mean?
For fire departments who are still using the federal NFIRS system to create fire reports, this means that Michelle will not be activating or unlocking NFIRS accounts or issuing new passwords. HOWEVER, she would like invalid 2016 reports to get fixed before we abandon the federal system completely, so she will be emailing fire departments who have invalid 2016 reports that need to be fixed. If a department needs their NFIRS account unlocked in order to fix the reports, she is more than willing to do so. But she will not be validating NFIRS reports or importing them into the state database after June 1st. There are also about 70 invalid 2017 reports that need attention before June 1st, so please take a look at your data in the system and get them fixed. If you are a “fire-only” fire department chief who hasn’t already done so, please fill out the MEFIRS registration form completely (it’s in 2 different formats), and get it back to Michelle so your department can be activated in MEFIRS to do reports. The EMS license # (even if it’s expired)needs to be filled out OR the birth date needs to be filled out (for those who don’t have an EMS license), and everyone on the form needs to have a unique email address.
For those departments who have been activated in the new state MEFIRS system by Michelle or Maine EMS, you are all set to report fire and/or EMS reports in the new system. You can also enter 2016 fire reports in the new system if you need to catch up on your reporting. Please don’t double-enter reports into MEFIRS and another reporting system, because we want to avoid duplicate reports floating around out there.
For those departments who choose to use third-party reporting programs to do fire reports, please continue to send me export data files by email and I will process them into the national database. At some point these departments will be able to log into MEFIRS and upload their data files themselves. I will email everyone when that ability is available. Please email Michelle for more information.