NFIRS 5.0 Element: ‘Primary Apparent Symptom’ – Fire Service Casualty

Definition : The firefighter’s most serious apparent injury.
Purpose : This entry, in conjunction with other related entries, can improve the understanding of the nature and cause of firefighter casualties and can aid in improving firefighter equipment and training needs. For example, large numbers of smoke inhalation injuries to firefighters would indicate a need to reevaluate the uses or adequacy of breathing apparatus.
Entry : Enter the two-digit code and description of the casualty’s that appears to be the most serious.

Element Specification

 Specification   Value 
Requirement Optional
Expected Length 2
Element Type Coded Field – The coded field relating to an entry in the code table. Most coded fields allow for Plus+ One codes. For these fields the expected length of the coded entry is depicted as (National length OR Plus+ One length). Only fields with this notation in the expected length column allow for Plus+ One definitions. If the user has not provided information, an empty field should be transmitted.


Here are the NFIRS codes for the ‘Primary Apparent Symptom’ element

Primary Apparent Symptom  Code 
Smoke Inhalation 01
Hazardous Fumes Inhalation 02
Breathing Difficulty or Shortness Of Breath 03
Burns And Smoke Inhalation 11
Burns Only, Thermal 12
Burn, Scald 13
Burn, Chemical 14
Burn, Electric 15
Cut or Laceration 21
Stab Wound/puncture Wound: Penetrating 22
Gunshot Wound; Projectile Wound 23
Contusion/bruise, Minor Trauma 24
Abrasion 25
Dislocation 31
Fracture 32
Strain or Sprain 33
Swelling 34
Crushing 35
Amputation 36
Cardiac Symptoms 41
Cardiac Arrest 42
Stroke 43
Respiratory Arrest 44
Chills 51
Fever 52
Nausea 53
Vomiting 54
Numbness or Tingling, Paresthesia 55
Paralysis 56
Frostbite 57
Sickness – Other 50
Miscarriage 61
Eye Trauma, Avulsion 63
Drowning 64
Foreign Body Obstruction 65
Electric Shock 66
Poison 67
Convulsion or Seizure 71
Internal Trauma 72
Hemorrhaging, Bleeding Internally 73
Disorientation 81
Dizziness/fainting/weakness 82
Exhaustion/fatigue, Including Heat Exhaustion 83
Heat Stroke 84
Dehydration 85
Allergic Reaction, Including Anaphylactic Shock 91
Drug Overdose 92
Alcohol Impairment 93
Emotional/psychological Stress 94
Mental Disorder 95
Shock 96
Unconscious 97
Pain Only 98
Primary Apparent Symptom – Other 00
None NN
Undetermined UU

Transactions containing ‘Primary Apparent Symptom’

The value of this element is captured by the following transaction :

Need more NFIRS help?

Here are some other useful ressources to learn more about NFIRS.

NFIRS Codes Cheat SheetNFIRS CodingNFIRS ExamplesFDIDsPOCsNFIRS TransactionsNFIRS ModulesNFIRS ElementsNFIRS RulesNFIRS ReferenceNFIRS Compliant ?

You can also read this NFIRS 5.0 Complete Reference Guide, and NFIRS 5.0 Design Documentation in order to have a deeper understanding of NFIRS 5.0. Here are also NFIRS 5.0 Forms ready for you to download and use.

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Last Updated on May 5, 2023