The U.S. Fire Administration announced yesterday that it will stop using social -security numbers on National Fire Academy and course applications, effective immediately. Instead, each student will be assigned unique student identification number (SID) through FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness.
Currently, severalsystems use social-security numbers to track students through the system. Going forward, SIDs will be used to protect against fraud and only used for a stipend reimbursement.
Dr. Kirby Kiefer, deputy Superintendent of the National Fire Academy, spoke to guests of an invite-only conference call about the change. The change will provide additional security against identify theft — something FEMA Administrator Fugate has supported. Kiefer said it is important to keep social security and private information secure to stave off identity theft.
“The time has come for us to discontinue the use of social-security numbers and transition into the use of the SID number on NFA applications,” he said
The agency uses a SID number system, housed at the Center for Domestic Preparedness — a FEMA preparedness facility. Numbers assigned through the CDP online registration will be used on all existing and future records. The CPD interface will be used until one is built for the USFA, which is in the works, Kiefer said.
Students will be required to secure a SID number from FEMA before applying for future NSA programs, Kiefer said. The NFA application period opens April 15 and closes June 15 for the Oct. 1 sessions.