Prescott Fire Department Recommended for Accredited Agency Status
Over the past 24 months, the Prescott Fire Department has been working towards becoming internationally accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). This process has necessitated the development of a comprehensive Community Risk Assessment and Standards of Cover document in addition to a five-year Strategic Plan and a Fire and Emergency Services Self-Assessment Manual.
Accreditation is viewed as a means of measurement for fire department’s service level credibility against ten specific categories and 252 individual performance indicators.
Over the course of November 3rd-7th, 2019 the City of Prescott served as hosts for the on-site review of the department conducted by four fire service professionals from California, Illinois, North Carolina, and Virginia. During this time, the team inspected facilities, reviewed procedures, and interviewed key personnel. During the out-brief on Thursday November 7th the team made a positive recommendation that will be brought forth to CFAI in March 2020 as part of the Center for Public Safety Excellence Conference in Orlando, FL at which Accredited Agency status is to be awarded if approved by a majority of the members.
If approved as an accredited agency by CFAI, the department will become one of 259 departments internationally to achieve such designation and one of only 11 in the State of Arizona. According to Accreditation Manager and Battalion Chief Ralph Lucas “this recommendation is instrumental in setting us apart from most departments in that it subjects us to an independent peer review to verify and validate our capabilities against nationally recognized best practices”.
Fire Chief Dennis Light said, “This is the result of an effort that included the entire department and took a number of years to complete, but when it comes to process improvement and encouraging best practices, such efforts never cease.” Chief Light went on to say, “Becoming an accredited agency is not the end, it is the beginning. Once the Prescott Fire Department becomes accredited, it will require us to regularly evaluate our processes and improvement. We will be required to submit annual reports to the CFAI, detailing our actions with regard to compliance and process improvement for each of the ten specific categories and 252 individual performance indicators. Accreditation is not for life, it is for a 5 year period, so our work to improve our operations will be continuous in anticipation of being fully reviewed again in 5 years for re-accreditation.”
The Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) is committed to improving fire and emergency service agencies around the world. They assist agencies in achieving organizational and professional excellence. This is done through its strategic self-assessment model and accreditation process, which provides continuous quality improvement and enhancement of service delivery to the community.