How to report on your Incident; times, narrative and more

Enter incident reports as soon as you return from scene, or even when on scene. The longer you wait, the chance for losing details is higher. Report while the incident is fresh in your mind.


Updating Category, Narrative, and Times

The first step in updating the incident is documenting the incident category, the incident times and providing a detailed narrative (description) of what occurred on scene. Document important facts from the scene.

Incident Category

Incident Category is the volunteer firefighter terminology for the type of incident, e.g. Structure Fire, Wildland Fire, Medical Call. Fire Departments can configure these to suit their membership needs. This is typically set from the CAD (dispatch) notification, but ensure this is set correctly when completing the incident report.

Incidents that come in from CAD (dispatch) as  "Motor Vehicle Accident" would be better categorized (after arrival at the scene) as "MVA with Injuries" or "MVA without Injuries".

See Related Article: Incident Category & NFIRS Incident Type

Incident Times

All fire department times are in 24 hour clock; 00:00 is midnight, 12:00 is midday, 15:00 is 3pm, 19:00 is 7pm and so on. 24 hour clock is sometimes known as military time 

NOTE: Times do NOT require seconds. Enter hours and minutes only. Use 24 hour clock, i.e. 13:00 do not add AM or PM.
Time Definition Example
Tone Time When the pager or radio goes off for the fire department. 19:00
En Route Time When units leave the barn and go "en route" with dispatch. 19:10
Arrival Time When the first fire department apparatus arrived on scene (or in the area for a search.) 19:16
Termination Time When the fire department unit leave. the scene, terminating with dispatch. 20:30
NOTE: En Route is a firefighter term (originally imported from French, hence the spelling) for "when the apparatus left the station". Many fire departments timestamp the "en route time" (the time of the first unit) on the radio with dispatch. Having tone time, en route time and arrival time allows departments to inspect their response timing.

Incident Narrative

A good report has a strong narrative. Take time to provide good detail on what occurred on scene. Don't worry too much about spelling and grammar (those can be updated later) so much as gathering the facts. Often this narrative is the only detailed written description of the fire department description of what occurred on scene. 

Updating Member Attendance

Selecting members who attended are important for the record, for individual member attendance numbers. Firefighters viewing a report will quickly notice if they are missing from attendance so take time to get this right. Tap the button across from the member name to toggle amongst Attended, Absent and N/A (Not Available.) 

Attendance Definition Impact
Attended Firefighter responded and participated in the incident (even if they staged at station.) Firefighter gets credit for this incident, i.e. one more incident response number.
Absent Firefighter did NOT respond to the incident.  Firefighter gets marked as absent, i.e. their percentage attended goes down. 
N/A - Not Available Firefighter was not available for the incident (e.g. for medical or work or other reason, as determined by the department) Firefighter attendance numbers are not impacted at all.

Updating Roles

Department incident command structure roles are configured into Responserack. Everything from incident command, operations, safety officer, and more on down. Assigning roles is gathering data for the department (i.e. who was Incident Command is who is responsible for the incident, and for the report) but it also gathers some NFIRS Actions Taken.

Note: Assigning "Incident Command" automatically applies NFIRS Action Taken 81; Incident Command. "Patient Care" provides another (based upon your level of life support care; advanced or basic.)

Updating Apparatus

Updating apparatus at first appears a tag overkill, however it allows reporting on how often the apparatus is used, which can be helpful with grant applications as well as truck maintenance.

Tap an apparatus name (above or below the attendees) and then tap the button across from the member to assign them to that truck.

Updating Agencies

Updating agencies involved in the incident allows both keeping track of who was primary on an incident (e.g. if your department performed mutual or auto aid for another department, i.e. they get the NFIRS report responsibility) or if other agencies assisted you. Agencies can be fire departments but also law enforcement, medical (e.g. medivac), and more.

Note: Only fire departments (those with an NFIRS FDID) can be primary on an incident.

See how to enter your incident report

This video shows the above in .

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