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Iowa Department of Public Safety
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Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Thursday, April 28, 2011

amurphy@dps.state.ia.us
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

State Fire Marshal Unveils New Reporting System for Iowa Fire Departments

Des Moines, IOWA --- The Department of Public Safety and the Office of the State Fire Marshal are launching a new web-based fire reporting system for Iowa fire departments to report fires.  This new reporting system will allow fire departments to report fires more accurately and easier.

Iowa’s 900 fire departments are required by state law to report all fire call responses, in order to provide fire data to the U.S. Fire Administration.  Fire data collected through the National Fire Incident Reporting System is used to develop fire prevention policies, as well as help local and state officials prevent fires through enforcement and education efforts. 

The new web based program called Fire Bridge, developed by the company Image Trend, will allow fire departments to report fire response information from any laptop or computer with internet access.  The system should be available for use by Fire Departments within the next 60 days. State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds says, “I anticipate a cost savings of more than $100,000 for Iowa tax payers.  Fire departments are currently paying for costly software upgrades every year in order to report fire calls in their jurisdictions.” 

Currently only 38% of Iowa’s 900 fire departments report fire calls to the State Fire Marshal.  Many departments can’t afford the software purchases to report their fire responses.  State Fire Marshal Special Agent Justin Wade, who also serves as a volunteer firefighter on the Wilton Fire Department says, “With only 38% of Iowa fire departments reporting, it’s very hard for us to have accurate data for members of the public when they ask, ‘What’s the fire risk in Iowa?’ ” 

Other states that have switched to a web based reporting system like Fire Bridge have seen reporting increase from 30% to 97%, nearly overnight.  The Iowa Department of Public Safety is committed to this project.  Collecting accurate fire data is necessary for the State Fire Marshal and the Fire Service of Iowa to identify fire causes and risks, and develop fire prevention strategies to protect Iowans.

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