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About the National Emergency Response Information System

The new National Emergency Response Information System (NERIS) platform will modernize and transform the legacy data system, known as the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), to a secure, cloud-hosted system that fulfills the U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA's) National Fire Data Center's (NFDC's) obligation under the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-498) to mitigate the fire problem, reduce loss of life and property, and educate the public on fire safety, prevention and protection.

NERIS will be the premier source of all-hazards information and innovative analytics informing the nation's fire problem and the capabilities of state, local, territorial and tribal fire services' resource capacities and capabilities to handle the problem effectively, efficiently and safely. The NERIS platform, using data procured, captured, aggregated and analyzed, will provide near real-time information on the overall scope of fire and emergency incidents across the U.S. and timely insights on significant or remarkable fire, hostile and disaster events.

This project is made possible through a research and development contract awarded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) Science and Technology Directorate's (S&T's) Long-Range Broad Agency Announcement program awarded to the Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI). FSRI is a part of UL Research Institutes, the nonprofit safety science organization within the UL enterprise. In collaboration with USFA, DHS S&T and the American fire service, FSRI will develop and provide the new NERIS platform for use by fire and emergency services departments nationwide.

Key features

NERIS will have enhanced data integration capability and substantial computing power to minimize the burden for data contributors, while providing incentives through user-defined and actionable analytic tools that support intelligence-led decision-making at the local level. It will support rapid integration and analysis of data from a multitude of sources, including:

  • Physical and field sensors, e.g., internet of things (IoT).
  • Humans as sensors.
  • Computer-aided dispatch systems.
  • Geographic information systems.
  • Biometrics.
  • Application programming interfaces from other relevant systems and data services.

It will be flexible and adaptable to the changing needs of the local fire service and first responders nationwide to ensure equity of service availability at the most local level, and to enable local fire departments and emergency response agencies to access and use their own data for data-driven informed decisions.

Statutory requirements

NERIS fulfills the NFDC mandates of 15 U.S.C. §2208 (1974), defined below:

“The Administrator shall operate, directly or through contracts or grants, an integrated, comprehensive National Fire Data Center for the selection, analysis, publication, and dissemination of information related to the prevention, occurrence, control, and results of fires of all types. The program of such Data Center shall be designed to (1) provide an accurate nationwide analysis of the fire problem, (2) identify major problem areas, (3) assist in setting priorities, (4) determine possible solutions to problems, and (5) monitor the progress of programs to reduce fire losses.”


“In carrying out the program of the Data Center, the Administrator is authorized to

  • Develop standardized data reporting methods;
  • Encourage and assist Federal, State, local, and other agencies, public and private, in developing and reporting information; and
  • Make full use of existing data gathering and analysis organizations, both public and private, including the Center for Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends.”

Dissemination of fire data

“The Administrator shall insure dissemination to the maximum extent possible of fire data collected and developed by the Data Center, and shall make such data, information, and analysis available in appropriate form to Federal agencies, State and local governments, private organizations, industry, business, and other interested persons.”

National Fire Incident Reporting System update

“The Administrator shall update the National Fire Incident Reporting System to ensure that the information in the system is available, and can be updated, through the Internet and in real time.”

Why are you replacing the NFIRS?

There is a major gap between the current/legacy NFIRS system and the requirements for a new, modern platform that will readily inform community emergency response capacity and capability for day-to-day incidents and for large-scale disasters. Due to the limitations with the current legacy system, the quantity, quality and timeliness of NFIRS data submitted by states and local fire departments is inadequate.

The current, antiquated system is built on outdated code that is not interoperable with modern systems and is subsequently unable to integrate critical data and provide the insights on the national fire problem that USFA is charged by law to provide.

Have a question or need more information?

Please email the NERIS Information Desk.