IAFC's Near Miss Reporting System Begins a New Chapter

Program Manager Laura W. Bell described the scenarios as "bite-sized training" tailored for what chiefs say they need now.

The International Association of Fire Chiefs' Near Miss Reporting System (www.nationalnearmiss.org/) has begun an exciting new chapter that makes its content much more useful as training tools, something that was part of the mission for Laura W. Bell, the system's program manager, when she joined IAFC in June 2013. "It will add another dimension to what we offer in terms of training—actual immersive training," Bell said.

The system launched in 1995. Some 5,000 reports have been entered to date that describe how near misses occurred when departments responded to fires, hazmat incidents, auto extrications, medical calls, technical rescues, and more. The system's recent relaunch is taking submissions to another level, with the reports being turned into realistic scenarios. Jonathan Mackintosh of Westminster, Colo.-based AlphaTRAC gave me a demonstration of the technology that takes a trainee through six steps in decision-making when evaluating a sample incident (the steps are characterize, recognize, analyze, customize, dramatize, and utilize). "We're actually along the way teaching a decision-making process," he explained. Often there are several good options available to a trainee, but one usually rises above the rest, and top-notch decision makers will find it, he said.

Bell described the scenarios as "bite-sized training" tailored for what chiefs say they need now: Something their personnel "can do on their phone, almost," she said. Fire chiefs were telling IAFC that they valued the system's weekly emailed near miss reports but also said they and their personnel didn't want more emails; they wanted an engaging way to utilize the material in their training.

Bell said the goal is to make the system's website a center of excellence for firefighters' health and safety, "a place where you get the latest and greatest training," she added. "We're a national platform to share those experiences. The dissemination can spread like wildfire."

She said IAFC is also partnering with the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center, which posts incident reviews on its website to inform the wildland fire community.

This article originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

About the Author

Jerry Laws is Editor of Occupational Health & Safety magazine, which is owned by 1105 Media Inc.

Download Center

  • Industrial Premium Library

    Empower your workforce with the manufacturing, industrial maintenance, operations, HSE, compliance, and professional development skills they need to complete their tasks efficiently and safely. Not only will you boost productivity, reliability, skills, and morale but you’ll also onboard faster, and retain your best employees while meeting regulatory standards. Vector Solutions offers over 1,800 award-winning eLearning courses designed to keep your employees safe, transfer knowledge of fundamentals, and develop industry and job-specific skills that reduce downtime, maintenance costs and more.

  • Safety Metrics & Insights Webinar

    EHS professionals have been tackling the subject of how to best measure performance for many years. Lagging indicators like the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away Restricted Transfer Rate (DART) are a good place to start, but you shouldn’t forget about the leading indicators that your workforce does every day to prevent incidents from occurring. Learn about some of the most common KPIs of safety programs and how Vector EHS Management software can be used to track these metrics in this webinar.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively. Download this guide for details on risk matrix calculations including severity, probability, and risk assessment.

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program

  • Vector Solutions

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2022

    September 2022

    Featuring:

    • ESG
      EHS Will Guide Future ESG Success for Many Organizations
    • MACHINE GUARDING
      Handling Material Handlers: Training Beyond PIT Requirements
    • EHS SOFTWARE
      The Missing Link with EHS Software
    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Noise Surveys from the Trenches
    View This Issue