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Stakeholder Engagement: Community and Collaboration

Are there training programs available for fire departments to familiarize themselves with this new system?

Training and education will be core to the NERIS rollout in 2024 and 2025. There will be extensive training resources available, with online self-service training modules, video tutorials, as well as in-person training opportunities.

Additionally, for ongoing updates, regularly check the NERIS events page and consider subscribing to the newsletter NERIS Ready – to subscribe visit https://fsri.org/programs/neris. USFA and FSRI also host national NERIS webinars periodically and be sure to catch NERIS presentations and briefings at various public forums and fire service conferences throughout the year. To find out about upcoming NERIS education and training opportunities, visit:

How has the public been engaged in the development of the NERIS data schemas?

Community engagement and input on the development of the NERIS data schemas is paramount to success. As part of the development of the beta NERIS data schemas, a national webinar was conducted in December 2023 providing basic education on the draft data schemas and announcing the opening of a national engagement period. The national engagement period ran from December 16, 2023, through February 16, 2024 and was open to the general public. Nearly 1,400 unique comments and feedback points were received on the draft data schemas during the ~60-day period and were adjudicated as part of finalizing the beta versions of the NERIS data schemas.

Similar national engagement opportunities will be available as additional data schemas are developed, and in future revision & update cycles are conducted.

What is the timeline for fire departments to transition from NFIRS to NERIS, and what support will be provided during the transition?

The beta version of NERIS is scheduled for launch in August 2024 with 50 select fire departments onboarding. The full production version 1.0 of NERIS is slated for release in the fall of 2024, with Phase 1 onboarding commencing in November 2024. Subsequent onboarding phases are planned for every few months with Phase 2 slated for February 2025.

Calendar Year 2025 will focus on onboarding all fire departments nationwide. During this time, some fire departments may continue to report to NFIRS while they complete NERIS onboarding. Starting January 1, 2026, all fire incident reporting will occur through NERIS exclusively, and the legacy NFIRS system will no longer be available for reporting incidents.

Our goal is to make this transition as seamless as possible, offering a variety of resources and technical assistance throughout the process. While we are still finalizing the details, we are committed to keeping you informed at every step.

How is NERIS designed to meet the unique challenges faced by both large metropolitan and smaller rural or volunteer fire departments?

NERIS will be a flexible solution that anticipates and accommodates the specific challenges of fire departments of all sizes and types.

For larger departments, the system will be designed to manage high data volumes and offer seamless system integration with CAD and RMS. It will also address challenges related to interoperability and staff training.

For rural, combination, and volunteer departments, NERIS will be optimized for limited internet connectivity and will feature a data capture application accessible on mobile devices, tablets, and computers. The system will consider resource constraints and limited technical skills.

Will the system be tested before launching?

Yes, before the release of the full production version 1.0 of NERIS, the system will undergo a rigorous 2-phase testing to identify and address performance issues and any potential defects and bugs. The prototype testing phase will involve a limited number of participating departments to ensure the prototype system meets functionality and reliability standards. The aim is to refine the system based on real-world usage and feedback before it is made widely available. The second phase of testing will occur on the beta version of NERIS and will focus on identifying any smaller issues, defects, and bugs.

How will NERIS align with existing state laws requiring local fire departments to report incident data?

The information collected on fire and all-hazard incidents has been cross walked with reporting requirements in both Federal and state statutes to ensure alignment to the maximum extent possible. NERIS will fulfill the USFA's National Fire Data Center'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 prevention and protection, as well as effects of all hazards.

What is the relationship between the USFA's National Fire Data Center (NFDC) and NERIS?

The NFDC is not being replaced by NERIS. As with the legacy NFIRS, the NFDC will utilize NERIS's data and capabilities to enhance its national fire data analysis and reporting responsibilities.


Have a question or need more information?

Please email the NERIS Information Desk.