Author Archives: Sara Wood

Living in rural Kansas, Sara Wood is the daughter of a volunteer firefighter and the wife of a captain serving on a combination fire department. A self-described “mixed breed of both fire and law enforcement lineage,” she began a career with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) and served in many capacities, the last being the crime reporting unit. In 2013, Sara moved to the Office of the State Fire Marshal where her “plan” is use her experiences in crime statistical analysis gained at KBI to “spread the word” about NFIRS knowledge across the state and help fire departments to better understand and utilize the information at hand, similar to crime analysis. Sara makes her home in Auburn, Kansas with two young daredevil kids, a deaf bulldog, and her fire captain husband. “As a family we keep busy and should honestly be buying stock in band-aids!” You can contact Sara at

NFIRS: What’s causing your heartburn?

Having trouble finding the validation errors? That’s your software. If your report says it’s valid, yet you receive critical errors upon uploading to the state, that’s your software. If you can’t see the full wording of a code, that’s your software. None of these are caused by NFIRS.

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Why NFIRS Matters

We know it’s a problem. It’s always been a problem. However, NFIRS information influences countless prevention campaigns, safety product development, code development, and a host of other areas so it is far past time to take NFIRS seriously. We must set complaints of data quality aside and take action.

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NFIRS: It’s not a Data “Black Hole”

NFIRS “goes” by many names. Some call it by a state program name, e.g., The [Enter a state name] Fire Incident Reporting System; others call it by the software program a department purchased, e.g., Firehouse™ Incident Reporting; and some simply call it “run reports.” It’s all the same thing, no matter what you call it. And it’s highly useful.

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