PennFIRS, the Pennsylvania Fire Information Reporting System, is intended to assist the state’s fire departments in managing the flow of their National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) reports to the U. S. Fire Administration’s National Fire data Center. PennFIRS also has the potential for reviewing and analyzing Pennsylvania’s fire situation.

The Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 authorized the United States Fire Administration’s (USFA) National Fire Data Center to gather and analyze information on the magnitude of the Nation's fire problem, as well as its detailed characteristics and trends. The Act authorized the USFA to develop uniform data reporting methods, and to assist state agencies in developing and reporting data. The National Fire Data Center established the National Fire Incident Reporting System to carry out the intentions of the Act.

Data Collection Sites
There is no requirement that county EMA or 911 agencies must be involved in the PennFIRS program, but we believe the valuable information available through PennFIRS will be found beneficial and become an important resource for all those agencies and organizations that participate in the system. Currently the Berks County Department of Emergency Services will continue to remain a data collection point.

Berks County Firehouse Software Support
The Berks County Department of Emergency Services is able to provide limited support with Firehouse Software platform in addition to technical support in uploading the department files to the county collection site. For more information on the necessary settings to upload your data, please contact the Berks County Department of Emergency Services at (610) 374-4800 EXT. 8219.

PenFIRS On-Line Reporting
The Office of the State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) has expanded our partnership with FIREHOUSE Software and has obtained a statewide license to provide a newly designed web-based (Internet Accessible) data entry tool (FH.Net), that will be called Pennsylvania Fire Information Reporting System (PennFIRS) On-Line or PennFIRS On-Line.

PennFIRS On-Line meets all the basic National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS 5.0) criteria and will be offered free of charge (including maintenance agreements) to any fire department in the state that wishes to participate. All data entered by a fire company/department is automatically collected (no emailing required) in the PennFIRS On-Line state database. In turn, the OSFC forwards all data received to NFIRS.

PennFIRS On-Line is a basic NFIRS reporting tool and currently does not have all of the FIREHOUSE Software advanced NFIRS features available with some FIREHOUSE Software locally installed legacy systems. As these features are developed for the web based (Internet Accessible) application, they will eventually become part of the PennFIRS On-Line system. Fire companies/departments will have the options of; retaining their current installed FIREHOUSE Software reporting system, using other third party software, or moving to the new PennFIRS On-Line web based tool.

Regardless of which option you use, the OSFC model for Pennsylvania incidents remains the same; all fire departments should submit incident reports to the state through PennFIRS, before we forward them to NFIRS. For those departments using the locally installed PennFIRS software that was initially provided by the OSFC, you will be receiving a update to the program and will be covered under a maintenance agreement through 6/30/2011 for NFIRS 5 updates and toll free technical support. After this period, only fire departments using the web based (Internet Accessible) PennFIRS on- Line application will be covered by the OSFC under a maintenance agreement for toll free technical support and upgrades.

Departments that currently have no reporting capability will be given a higher priority for initial approval. Training is available and can be conducted through the internet using "webinars" or on-site by OSFC trainers. To obtain registration information please visit www.osfc.state.pa.us

Firehouse - New World CAD Interface

Recently the Berks County Department of Emergency Services switched CAD providers. PSSI was the previous CAD host for dispatching services. While PSSI provided many years of quality service it was time to upgrade our CAD system. Research had been done with many vendors capable of meeting our current needs and allow for system expansion. In the end, New World was selected as our new CAD vendor. A great deal of effort was exhausted in development of this CAD system.

A CAD component developed was an interface with Firehouse Reporting and New World. The interface allows fire departments utilizing Firehouse reporting to purchase a software component to interface with New World CAD. New World will push specific information out regarding the incident to include, date, time of dispatch, address, incident number, units, times, and narrative. Data is generated through an FTP Site. Once NW CAD pushes the data, a separate “sniffer software” is required to pull the data in. When generating a new report, this specific information will be automatically included on the report. The software must be purchased from your Firehouse sales representative. Fire departments purchasing software from Firehouse are to understand the County of Berks Department of Emergency Services or Information Systems (IS) will not be providing technical support for this product.

CAD unit information provided by New World must be listed the same in our data base as individual fire department data bases. Unit designations are limited to 6 characters. In order for New World to provide unit information, fire department unit identifiers must match ours. Berks DES can provide a list of CAD unit identifiers to any fire department requiring them.

Any fire department requiring additional information or purchase of this FH software, should contact FH Sales & Training Associate:

Michael A. Hall, CPM
866-853-3067 (office)
Chief1601@hotmail.com

Click Here for Firehouse-New World CAD FTP Instructions

Berks County Data Files
The Berks County Department of Emergency Services publishes an updated report monthly on the number of incidents that have been collected at the County. Click on any of the links below for additional information.

2003 Annual Statistics
2004 Annual Statistics
2005 Annual Statistics
2006 Annual Statistics
2007 Annual Statistics
2008 Annual Statistics
2009 Annual Statistics
2010 Annual Statistics
2011 Annual Statistics
2012 Annual Statistics
2013 Annual Statistics