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Jason D. Averill, Lori Moore-Merrell, Kathy Notarianni, Robert Santos, Doug Wissoker


Effectively managing a fire department requires an understanding of and an ability to demonstrate how changes to resources will affect community outcomes. It is imperative that fire department leaders, as well as political decision makers, know how fire department resource deployment in their local community affects community outcomes in three important areas: firefighter injury and death; civilian injury and death; and property loss. To facilitate this, fire department leaders must have reliable statistical data useful for optimization of response both prior to and during an incident. However, even with recent technological advances and substantial fire department efforts in data collection, the fire service is unable to scientifically quantify experiences to determine the relative effectiveness of different deployment decisions, including: type of emergency event, staffing levels/crew size, asset configurations, response time frames, frequency and manner of personnel training, and fire prevention programs. This situation is untenable and deserves the attention of research scientists, policy makers and the firefighter community alike. The purpose of this project was to develop a technical basis for data collection and reporting which enables leaders to match resource investments and resources deployed to the risks in the community they serve. Stakeholders from across the fire service industry, including firefighters and chiefs, data entry specialists, data vendors, local union leadership, federal agencies, insurance industry, and standards developing organizations, attended the summit and contributed to the discussion. During the course of the summit, participants identified specific data needs from differing stakeholder perspectives, identified data gaps which hamper efforts to address the needs, and identified possible steps to enable a technical basis for capturing data about the resources deployed when firefighters and paramedics respond
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1698
Report Number


Fire Service, firefighters, fire data


Averill, J. , Moore-Merrell, L. , Notarianni, K. , Santos, R. and Wissoker, D. (2011), PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL FIRE SERVICE DATA SUMMIT, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 18, 2024)


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Created May 9, 2011, Updated February 19, 2017