I have a question for those in departments out there regarding incident reporting.  This isn't directed just at officers.

My department serves a rural community and is all-volunteer.  We utilize a computer based incident reporting system that is accessible via the internet.

Those in similar departments, how do you get your personnel to get reports done?  Do you have time limits, penalties, etc.? 

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The way I do it here is my Officers who have the duty each weekend are responsible to fill out the reports Via the internet within their time on the weekend. Since I cover the duty during the week I stay current within a day of each call. I have not had any issues with my Officers not taking care of whats expected of them.

So I take it that requirements are expressed by policy?

Not a volly, but a report is part of the call for the most part. There shouldn't be a reason not to get the report done right away after a call, regardless of the circumstances. If you responded on the call, you finish the call all the way through. That means getting the paperwork submitted, restocking used equipment, replacing broken equipment, replacing used equipment (such as hose) with clean/new stuff, cleaning gear, and so forth. It doesn't make a difference if the call was at 6pm or 330am.....such stuff is part of the call so get it done right away.


Also as for reports, get them done right away while details and memory is still fresh, no excuses.


Does your department pay you O.T. to complete a report?

The fulltime staff will get paid OT but they usually won't allow us part-time guys to stay late to complete a report, But there are the unusaul times when we do have to stay.



Only if the call and report is around shift change. So if a call comes in at 6am and by the time you get back to the station it is past shift change, the report still has to be done, yes you will get OT for the time to put in the report. However, if a call came in at say 330am and you got back at 430am, went back to bed just to do the report before shift change, you would not get OT if you went past shift change.


Typically such a report that goes over tends to be an EMS call in nature. However, we have had several incidents where there was a fire close to shift change and by the time crews are relieved they are getting OT, they still have to complete first in reports at the station, so they do get OT for those reports.

Yes, Randy.


hi my name is doug hudson and im with the ordway vol-fire dept here is colorado. Im the secratary for the dept. yes im an officer, and to answere your question im the only one that dose the reports and comunicate with the people that we deal with in denver but we dont have a time limit to get the reports done since it all up to me and i also try to make all the calls that we have to do so.





It depends on what you are expected to complete. More information is needed to compare info. Are you using a home made excel reporting system or do you use internet based Fire House or NFIRS?  Are we talking about a fire report, or an EMS report? 


I am attached to a few departments. we are required to complete all reports before we leave the station (fulltime) and yes we are paid OT for the reports that are beyond our regularly scheduled shift, regardless if it is a fire report or EMS report. We use FH reporting system there, that then submits to our NFIRS and our FH is configured to report the EMS report to TEMSIS which is our state EMS reporting system. The reason it needs to be done before you leave is we are billing for all EMS care and transports, some of that has certain reporting requirements for time of service to bill submission. If it is late it can be denied. So in the past, guys go off duty (say they will do it tomorrow) and then are on vacation the next shift and then the report is out a week or more.


Now on the VFD side, I see many who have one person do all of the computer reporting for fire responses. The IC does a paper report and turns it in to the person who does the computer reporting.  Others have the IC do it all.  There is no real time requirement here. On the EMS side, it depends if the VFD are running a transport ambo or just first responder. The tx ambo needs to meet the requirements for billing, just like fulltime.


I too am on a department that serves a rural community and is volunteer, we also use a web based reporting software that is sponsored by our state fire marshals office.

I am the secretary for our department and it is my responsibility to enter our reports into the computer program. I usually take one day at the end of the month and report all calls from the past month. This is the easiest way for me to do it as we don't have a huge number of runs every year.

We utilize a paper "Run Report" that is filled out by the IC after we return to the station from an incident. We also receive our times and other important information on the call via Fax from our comm center. These two items are filed together in my "Calls to be Reported" tray and after I complete them, I file them in the yearly run log book.

It works well for our department, the only downfall is that I'm the only member that is really acquainted with the computer program and no one else is very interested in learning how to use it.

We have a system for assigning reports to the appropriate party responsible.  If I had to enter them all by myself it would be constant.  We run over a hundred calls a month, from simple assist EMS calls to structure fires.

I guess I need to explain my original question.  How do you motivate volunteers to complete reports in a timely fashion.  Remember, there's no paycheck to hold over their heads.

Our department does pay a stipend/per diem for calls run - a small amount to cover mileage, not time worked.  Paid by quarter, we only credit members for completed reports.  I cannot, however, wait until the end of the quarter as I need to do an end-of-the-month report for NFIRS.


I guess I need to explain my original question. How do you motivate volunteers to complete reports in a timely fashion. Remember, there's no paycheck to hold over their heads.


It is still part of the job and part of the call, that simple. Get it done. Do they leave air bottles empty after a call? Do they leave the rig a mess? do they leave dirty hose on the rig? I would assume not and would definately hope not, but those tasks are all part of the job too and I'm betting they aren't compensated for that either, are they?


So why would they put a rig back in service and not complete a report if compensation is about the motivation? So just like getting the rig back in order, get the reports done before leaving. That simple.

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