"Fighting Fires with Facts"
To effectively fight fire we need to know what happened. Hence, every report, however small the incident, is important.
The Maine Fire Incident Reporting System (MEFIRS) is a FREE statewide NFIRS reporting application available to all Maine Fire Departments. MEFIRS is operated by the Maine State Fire Marshal's Office as an extension of the Maine Emergency Services Reporting System administered by the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services within the Maine Department of Public Safety.
The fire service responds to all types of emergency and non-emergency incidents. The full effect of those responses is only recognized if the incidents are documented, reported, shared and analyzed. The fire service's tool for achieving this is the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). Collectively, the data is an asset because it helps identify trends, quantify activities, determine causes and plan deployment of limited resources. Ultimately, this can help reduce the loss of life and property caused by fires.
Understanding fire in Maine will:
- HELP PLAN FOR FUTURE FIRE DEPARTMENT NEEDS
- IDENTIFY RESOURCE NEEDS
- PRIORITIZE TRAINING
- QUALIFY FOR NATIONAL GRANTS
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The MEFIRS/NFIRS State Program Manager is Richard Taylor. Their contact information is as follows:
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.
How to Create a MEFIRS Account, Add and Deactivate MEFIRS Members - https://licensure.maineems.org/lms/public/portal#/login
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 Richard Taylor 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, Richard Taylor 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.
The National Fire Incident Reporting System
Data from Maine Incident Reporting System (MEFIRS) is loaded into the National Fire Incident Reporting System along with data from all 50 states and the territories. There, the data is used to analyze individual state and the national fire burden or the cumulative cost of fire related deaths, injuries, property and contents loss in addition to response costs and others costs.
Data from MEFIRS is used by the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office to prepare an annual report and for ongoing research into Maine's unique fire burden and fire incidents as required by the Maine Legislature. 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.
More on NFIRS
MEFIRS documents created by Richard Taylor
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, 12 pages, 271 KB) *** updated 05/29/2020
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, 275 KB) *** updated 6/11/2020
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 Richard Taylor
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/