Notice and request for comments.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on a proposed, new information collection. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), this notice seeks comments concerning the use of a survey to collect data for the development of a national fire department database.End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) receives many requests from fire service organizations and the general public for information related to fire departments, including total number of departments, number of stations per department, population protected, and number of firefighters. The USFA also has a need for this information to guide programmatic decisions, produce mailing lists for USFA publications, and serve as a baseline from which to eventually sample fire loss data. Recommendations for the creation of the fire department database came out of a Blue Ribbon Panel's review of the USFA—initiated by FEMA Director James Lee Witt in the spring of 1998. The report included a review of the structure, mission and funding of the USFA, future policies, programmatic needs, course development and delivery, and the role of the USFA to reflect changes in the fire service. The panel included 13 members of the U.S. fire community. As a result of those recommendations, the USFA is working to identify all fire departments in the United States to develop and populate a national database that will include information related to demographics, capabilities and activities of fire departments Nationwide.
Collection of Information
Title. National Fire Department Census.
Type of Information Collection. New.
Abstract. Many data products and reports exist that contain fragmented or estimated information about fire department demographics, and capabilities, but there is no single reference source today that aggregates this data to provide a complete and accurate profile of fire departments in the United States. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) receives many requests for information related to fire departments, including total number of departments, number of stations per department, population protected, apparatus and equipment status. The USFA is working to identify all fire departments in the United States to develop and populate a national database that will include information related to demographics, capabilities and activities. The database will be used by USFA to guide programmatic decisions, provide the Fire Service and the public with information about fire departments, to produce mailing lists for USFA publications and other materials, and serve as a baseline from which to sample fire loss data.
Affected Public: Federal, State, local government, volunteer, and industrial fire departments.
Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours.
|Number of respondents (A)||Frequency of response (B)||Hours per response (C)||Annual burden hours (A × B × C)|
|FEMA forms||33,000||1||25 Minutes (.42)||13,860|
|Total||33,000||1||25 Minutes (.42)||13,860|
Estimated Cost. The estimated costs to the government will be contracted direct labor and associated overhead costs of $433,500. There would be no costs to the respondent other than the minimal direct labor cost of a single firefighter or emergency service worker taking a small amount of time to complete the survey and this would be applicable only to those fire departments and emergency service agencies with career employees. The majority of the respondents will be from volunteer fire departments for which no direct labor costs will be incurred. The estimate of respondent costs for those career departments is computed as follows: Estimated number of surveys multiplied by the national average hourly rate of a firefighter of $18.65 multiplied by .42 (representing the estimated 25 minutes it takes to complete the survey) and multiply that by .25 which represents the percentage of respondents who are career (paid) personnel. Using this equation, total estimated costs to respondents of $64,622 is derived (33,000 estimated surveys × $18.65 = $615,450 × .42 = $258,489 × .25 = $64,622). The average cost per survey is a minimal $1.96. The respondents are under no obligation to complete the survey and may refuse to do so or stop at any time so the average cost to the respondent of $1.96 could easily not be incurred by refusing to fill out the survey.
Comments: Written comments are solicited to (a) evaluate whether the proposed data collection is necessary for the proper performance of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Comments should be received within 60 days of the date of this notice.
Interested persons should submit written comments to Muriel B. Anderson, Chief, Records Management Branch, Program Services Division, Operations Support Directorate, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street, SW, Room 316, Washington, DC 20472. Telephone number (202) 646-2625. FAX number (202) 646-3524 or e:mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Bradley S. Pabody, Fire Program Specialist, United States Fire Administration, National Fire Data Center, (301) 447-1340 for additional information. Contact Ms. Anderson at (202) 646-2625 for copies of the proposed collection of informationStart Signature
Dated: December 12, 2000.
Director, Program Services Division, Operations Support Directorate.
[FR Doc. 00-32215 Filed 12-18-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6718-01-P