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Using the Summary Output Reports Tool to Fight Fires with Facts

The National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) Summary Output Reports Tool provides users with summary and statistical reports using NFIRS data in the national database. This NFIRSGram explains how it works and how it helps in the decision-making process.

What is the Summary Output Reports Tool?

The Summary Output Reports Tool (SORT) is one of the U.S. Fire Administration’s public domain applications designed to foster the use of fire data to fight fires with facts. It is designed for use primarily by fire departments that participate in NFIRS and state-level organizations that manage NFIRS. The SORT provides summary and statistical reports using NFIRS data in the national database submitted from participating fire departments.

How can the SORT help me?

Data is a critical business asset in this world of information. The SORT provides you with:

  • Access to your data anytime and anywhere you can log on to the Internet.
  • Management reports, data quality reports, and other reports to help manage fire departments and assist other data users in the decision-making process. For example, it can be used to support budgetary proposals.
  • A way to confirm that your data at the national level is the same as your data at your level.
  • Reports that summarize critical factors for fire suppression, education and prevention (e.g., causes of fires, civilian and fire service casualties, incident response measures).

How does the SORT work?

The NFIRS report database contains multiple years of incident data from fire departments. The SORT consists of 24 reports that summarize data in charts, graphs and tables. Information about call types and volume, response times, and resource utilization are examples of information available using the SORT. The SORT provides filters and parameters to look at subsets of the data. When you log into the SORT, you only have access to data for your level of authority (e.g., a member of a fire department can only see data from the member’s fire department and a state-level user can only see data from the user’s state). It is designed to be easy to create, save and download reports.

Who can use the SORT?

All fire departments that participate in NFIRS and all state-level organizations that manage NFIRS can use the SORT.

How can I access the SORT?

The state-level organization that manages NFIRS in your state provides users with an NFIRS account. The account is set to grant permission to access the SORT. Contact the NFIRS Help Desk if you do not know who your state NFIRS program manager is. Once you have an account, you can access the web-based tool.

Have a question about the SORT or any of the NFIRS tools?

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