Working with Incident Locations

Incidents occur everywhere; from main street to remote locations far from addresses. To locate your incident as completely and as accurately as possible become familiar with the various location types, and location fields.

NOTE: NFIRS validates locations and will not accept incomplete or invalid locations. If all else fails, a good choice is likely the Directions Location Type since it doesn't require as much detail.

Locations are often generated by CAD, enhanced with Google Maps lookups, and maybe even manually tweaked. They can be tricky to get right, and typically the powerful Responserack location editor is easier to work with than the Responserack NFIRS location editor. Getting the location right for the department records often improves it for NFIRS records.


Locations Overview

Locations are sometimes simple (i.e. a number street address looked up by CAD) but when they aren't simple, they can be tricky. Intersections are one type of address, highway or interstate mile-markers are another, and there are also "directions" (more free-format) and geolocated (latitude / longitude.)

Location Types

Locations are of one type or another. Normally the location type is simple  "Address", however these are the choices.

Type Description Example
Address Numbered property on a route  1 main street
Directions Directions, route not needed north of wet lake
Intersection Route and cross route / street main street & highway 1 
Latitude / Longitude GPS coordinates 39.0, -108.1

Location Fields

Most location fields are self-explanatory. Here are some others.

Type Description Example
Locality An incorporated city or town political entity Golden
Note Additional information  west-bound lane
Neighborhood  A named neighborhood Coal Creek Canyon

Directions Location Type

The directions location type is a good choice when the location is not a simple address, e.g. over the reservoir or cabin 15 at Something Ranch or second field near intersection.

Intersection Location Type

The intersection location type is for when an incident occurs at an intersection of two routes, e.g. a motor vehicle accident.

Mile-marker Location Type

The mile marker location type is for when an incident occurs along a highway or interstate, e.g. a motor vehicle accident at mile marker 5 on interstate 42.

Selecting the Location Type

Select the incident location type by tapping one of Address (a street address), Mile-marker (a mile-marker - or mile-post - along a highway), Directions, and Intersection of two roads and/or Latitude / Longitude. As you select a different type the available fields change. Many are the same for all location types; such as locality, county, state and latitude/longitude but the detail fields change.

NOTE: Select the correct type for the level of detail you have. The location type Directions does not require (say) a street number, and can be used without even a route name. For example "west side of the reservoir".  

Location Lookup

Responserack provides access to Google Maps address lookup which provides location / address search completion as you type based upon your departments location. With a lookup the data returned includes latitude / longitude, locality, county, zip code and more.

The most common location lookups are street addresses, however in order to find other locations (e.g. restaurants and other establishments) or more general places (e.g. state parks, reservoirs) please use the lookup specifier on the right:

  • Address - Lookup a street address
  • Establishment - Lookup an establishment by name, e.g. Restaurant, Bar, other establishment.
  • Geocoded - Lookup a place by name, e.g. a State Park, a Reservoir or Lake, etc.

Dispatched Location Information

When information is provided from dispatch (e.g. CAD provides a partial address, or the best incident address) that information is provided on the incident edit location screen for reference.

Incident NFIRS parts

NFIRS does validate address fields, meaning it checks a field exists and the length of the contents of the field. It does not check an address exists in reality, only that the field values fit. That said, based upon the location type NFIRS does validate the existence of many fields.

Here are the field for a street address:

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