NVFC Partners with Near-Miss Reporting System to Improve Firefighter Safety

The National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System is a confidential, non-punitive way for first responders to report near-miss events that can be used to improve firefighter safety. The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has partnered with the Near-Miss Reporting System to encourage participation from the volunteer fire and emergency services community.

“Collecting data about near-miss events is critical in understanding where improvements can be made and developing programs to mitigate safety issues,” said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. “The NVFC asks all volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel that have experienced a near-miss event to help improve emergency responder safety by submitting a report through the National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System. The lessons learned from your experience could help prevent an injury or fatality in the future.”

A near-miss event is defined as an unintentional unsafe occurrence that could have resulted in an injury, fatality, or property damage, but through a fortunate break in the chain of events did not. By submitting a report of such events, firefighters and EMTs can improve the knowledge, skills, and abilities of everyone who is made aware of it. The information from these reports is used to make improvements in command, education, operations, and training.

Reports submitted to the Near-Miss System are used as educational tools. Other first responders can learn from the reports, and data and trends can be used to formulate strategies and create programs that will enhance firefighter safety and reduce injuries and fatalities. All identifiers that could link the report to its submitter or their department are removed before the reports are shared or posted online.

The program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, with founding dollars also provided by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. It is managed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and supported by FireFighterCloseCalls.com in mutual dedication to firefighter safety and survival.

John Woulfe, Assistant Director of the IAFC’s National Programs, attended the NVFC’s recent spring board meeting to brief the Health and Safety Committee about the program’s progress and direction. The NVFC also includes the weekly Near-Miss Reports of the Week in each issue of the Dispatch newsletter to help increase awareness and encourage participation.

Learn more about the National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System, submit a report, view reports, and access program resources at www.firefighternearmiss.com.