The Columbus Division of Fire was granted international
accreditation by the Committee on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) on
February 7, 2007. Achieving
accreditation was a significant milestone in the Division’s history. At that time, the Division of Fire became the
second largest fire department in the United States to achieve accreditation.
is a comprehensive self-assessment and evaluation model that enables
organizations to examine past, current, and future service levels and internal
performance and compare them to industry best practices. This process leads to
improved service delivery.
Fire and emergency service agencies compare
their performance to industry best practices in order to:
- Determine community risk
and safety needs and develop community-specific Standards of Cover.
- Evaluate the performance
of the department.
- Establish a method for
achieving continuous organizational improvement.
Local government executives face increasing
pressure to "do more with less" and justify their expenditures by
demonstrating a direct link to improved or expanded services. Particularly for
emergency services, local officials need criteria to assess professional
performance and efficiency.
The CFAI accreditation process provides a
well-defined, internationally-recognized benchmark system to measure the
quality of fire and emergency services.
Why is accreditation
important to you?
The process of achieving and continuing to maintain
international accreditation has benefits
- Assure colleagues and the public that
they have definite missions and objectives that are appropriate for the
jurisdictions they serve
- Provide a detailed evaluation of the
services they provide to the community
- Identify areas of strength and weakness
within the department
- Create methods or systems for
addressing deficiencies while building organizational success
- Encourage professional growth for
both the department and its personnel
- Provide a forum for the communication
of organizational priorities
- Foster national recognition by
colleagues and the public
- Create a mechanism for developing
strategic and program action plans
Agency status takes work, but it is well worth the effort.
There is a
substantial commitment of time and resources to maintain accreditation, however,
departments nationwide have realized the value of the self-assessment process
and accreditation model because it forces them to document not only what they
are doing but why they are doing it.
process results in the development of planning documents, including short-term
action and long-term strategic plans, which are important tools in the
budgeting process and a basis for justifying departmental programs and
services. Accreditation has the potential to dramatically improve a department,
its services, and its vision for the future.