It’s Coming: The New NERIS Standard

  • Posted on July 25, 2023

The National Emergency Response Information System (NERIS) is set to replace NFIRS by Q1 of 2025 – marking the biggest change to emergency response standard in the last 50 years. Its goal is to establish new standards that match the modern fire service and give departments access to data in a quicker, more efficient process.

On July 13, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Fire Safety Research Institute, and USFA hosted an informational webinar – Modernizing the U.S. Fire Data System: An Introduction to the National Emergency Response Information System. In this webinar, they highlighted the changes coming to fire agencies. Here’s an overview of the discussion, in case you missed it:

Why a new system?

A patchwork of Band-Aids, the current NFIRS is continually dropping valuable data. A more modernized upgrade is necessary to protect these valuable insights. A new and improved version of its predecessor, NERIS, is being created by the Fire Safety Research Institute in cooperation with the USFA. It is designed to be the premier source of all-hazards information and will tell the story of what is occurring in fire and emergency services. By providing national incident information instantly, departments will have greater insights into how to improve upon their own practices to reduce risk and save lives.

What can we look forward to?

NERIS’ integrated design will be cloud based to minimize the need for excess data entry. Departments working with vendors and partners will be able to access secure, interoperable, live data services through APIs to make quick, informed decisions. The plan is to create a user-friendly system that continues to adapt to the changing needs of local fire services and fire responders nationwide.
There are five NERIS Fire Data Standards currently in development today – they are: core fire data specification, CAD interface standard and API guide, incident, investigative, and exposure data standards.

What are the milestones?

NFIRS will remain operational throughout the completion and launch of the new NERIS system. The projected date to have all users transitioned to the new system is early 2025. At that time, the current NFIRS platform will be decommissioned. Instead of adding NFIRS’ data to the NERIS system, it will be migrated to a cloud-based library.

So… how can your department prepare for this change?

The U.S. Fire Administration recommends you continue doing what you’re doing with the NFIRS system. If you are preparing to move to a new RMS, make sure the vendor has API access and a plan for the transition. For more information on the new system, check out this informational webinar. ESO’s team of experts will continue to do everything they can to ensure you stay up to date by providing updates, recommendations, and best practices as time goes on.