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NFIRS National COVID-19 Special Study

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) is using the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) to conduct a national-level special study on fire department responses to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The goal of the study is to help fire departments consistently document fire department calls to suspected or confirmed incidents involving COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Special Study collected 25,991,251 incidents from Jan. 1, 2020 to Jan. 10, 2023.

Download Special Study reports

Important points for COVID-19 Special Study

  • Basic Module Special Study: ID #9244.
  • Collection level: National.
  • Participants: Fire departments that participate in NFIRS.
  • Start date: Jan. 1, 2020.
  • End date: Dec. 31, 2022.
  • Vendors must add COVID-19 Special Study ID #9244 to their reporting tools to allow customers to participate in the study.

This special study will collect, aggregate and quantify the number of fire department responses to incidents in which COVID-19 was a factor. The data will be used by the USFA at the national level and it will be available in the NFIRS Data Warehouse for registered NFIRS users. Data will not be made available to the public.

The severity of the COVID-19 spread is impacting the nation's fire service. The use of NFIRS, along with other data collected about COVID-19, helps in the analysis of the nationwide fire department response to the pandemic. This national-level special study will ensure that the data are collected uniformly by the 24,300 reporting fire departments in NFIRS. These departments responded to more than 28.7 million incidents in 2018.

Special study scope
Description: COVID-19 Discovery.
Collection level: National.
Participants: Fire departments that participate in NFIRS.
Start date: Jan. 1, 2020.
End date: Dec. 31, 2022.
Basic Module Special Study (ID# 9244)
COVID 19 was a factor in this incident.
Vendors: to allow your customers to participate in the national study and report the COVID-19 factor in a consistent manner, you must add COVID-19 Special Study ID #9244 to your reporting tools. Refer to the NFIRS specification and design documentation for more information.
1 – Yes, COVID 19 was suspected.
2 – Yes, COVID 19 was confirmed.
3 – No, COVID 19 was not a factor.
4 – Unknown.
Special Study record type: 1060
This is an optional record and has no required fields, but when used, the Incident Key Information must be present as in other transactions. The Special Study Sequence Number must be present in the eighth position of the 1060 record.
This special study should be used in conjunction with the guidance released by the USFA on Monday, March 16, 2020, that recommends the use of the other NFIRS modules, e.g., Fire Service Casualty Module, and the use of Remarks.

About this data collection

The collection of this data in NFIRS is allowed by the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (as amended through P.L. 112-239, enacted Jan. 3, 2019) and aligns with the mission and founding principles of the USFA. This includes the need to collect, analyze and disseminate relevant information about firefighter health and safety, as well as to identify research priorities for the fire service.

Have a question about the COVID-19 special study?

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