November 30, 2020
USFA NFIRS 5.0 Active Vendor
Tips for Using FireTools Effectively
Get the most out of your FireTools Software...
  1. FireTools is a Windows program written to apply typical Windows conventions for user familiarity and ease of use. It is assumed that you have a knowledge of your Windows operating system or have access to someone who does. If this is not the case, then you should appoint someone in your organization who will accept the responsibility for maintaining FireTools and training others as necessary.
  2. Pages 1 and 2 in the FireTools User Guide and duplicated on pages 3 and 4 in the FireTools Installation manual include concepts important for getting started right.
  3. The Table of Contents for the FireTools User Guide includes comprehensive lists of pre-structured reports available in each module
  4. When entering an incident report, the fire department FDID and state abbreviation will be filled in automatically. Red headings and asterisks indicate the required fields. These will change as data is entered, corresponding to changing requirements.
  5. As you complete an NFIRS-1 Basic form in the Incident Reporting System, you can see what other forms are required by clicking on the Required Forms item on the top Bar menu.
  6. When completing any form other than the NFIRS-1 Basic, the top Bar menu includes an item titled: Basic Info. By clicking on this item, it will display a window with key reference information, including a button for Remarks, from the NFIRS-1 Basic form.
  7. Code fields in all NFIRS forms in the Incident Reporting System include a Pick List, typical of Windows convention, containing all valid codes. However, some of these lists are very long. In such cases, you will find a question mark to the right of the field heading. By clicking on that question mark, it will display a window with codes included in a tree type structure, similar to Windows File Explorer. Just as with Windows File Explorer, you can expand a desired category by clicking on the plus sign. If you don't find an appropriate code, close the category by clicking on the minus sign and explore a different category until you find the correct code. Double click on the code to make a selection and proceed to the next field.
  8. You can create custom Codes for most standard NFIRS Codes in the Incident Reporting System by selecting Maintain Plus One Codes on the Tools menu. You can append any character, 1 through 0 or A through Z to existing codes and add your own text description. Note: When adding Plus One Codes, the resulting code and text should be in the same category as the original.
  9. A Training Attendance Work Sheet for recording training attendance information can be printed from the Training menu.
  10. The FireTools technical support staff can decode unknown passwords if there is a need to because the have been forgotten or because there has been a change in personnel within the user organization. A person requesting decoding of one or more passwords should be prepared to provide their name, rank or position within the organization and their authority to have access to the passwords being sought.
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