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Coding Recommendations for COVID-19 Response

The following guidance is provided to help state and local fire service organizations record incidents in NFIRS that involve the new coronavirus (COVID-19), including calls that are suspected to be coronavirus-related.

See also: NFIRS National COVID-19 Special Study

Generally, coding COVID-19 incidents, suspected or confirmed, will not be any different than other types of incident coding. Fire departments and states should consider how modules and fields provide data that could be useful in their decision-making and future analysis. This includes Apparatus/Resource, Personnel, EMS and Fire Service Casualty modules.

Basic Module

Incident Type (C)

Document the type of situation found.

Resources (G1)

Include accurate counts and listings of apparatus and personnel used in response to these types of incidents.

Fire Service Casualties (H1)

Record fire service health exposures and potential health exposures in the injuries field. One Fire Service Casualty Module will need to be created for each injury/exposure listed.


Clearly document the incident and identify COVID-19 in the text.

EMS Module

Use this module to document patient-specific information.

Fire Service Casualty (FSC) Module

This module can be used to capture incident scene exposures as a “first report” of contact with known or suspected COVID-19 cases. There are a few things to keep in mind:

  • It is up to the fire department as to whether they wish to use the FSC module to record this information.
  • The number of FSC modules must equal the number of fire service injuries listed on the Basic Module. For example, if there are 20 personnel on the scene who were exposed to COVID-19, then 20 individual FSC modules should be completed: one for every person on the scene.
  • Severity (G3) = 1 (report only, including exposures).
  • All required fields will need to be completed on the FSC module, including gender, casualty number, age, date/time of injury, severity, etc.


Clearly document the incident and identify COVID-19 in the text.

Additional information

In addition to the above incident coding recommendations, states can implement a Special Study. State-level users can use the USFA Client Software's System Administration Tool to create a special study. Follow the specific steps in the NFIRS System Administration Tool Users Guide PDF.

Users of a vendor product should contact their vendor for more information on using the Basic Module's optional Special Studies.

See also: NFIRS National COVID-19 Special Study

Have a question about coding COVID-19 response?

Please contact the NFIRS Support Center: Monday – Friday between 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET, at 888-382-3827 or by email at