Thursday, August 22, 2013
The North Charleston Fire Department (NCFD) was unanimously awarded Accredited Agency Status by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) at the Center for Public Safety Excellence Commission hearings in Chicago, on August 15.
The NCFD is one of only 187 agencies worldwide and one of six in South Carolina (Mt. Pleasant, Hilton Head, Charleston AFB, Parris Island, and Spartanburg) to obtain CFAI Accredited Agency Status.
The Accreditation model provides a comprehensive self-assessment and evaluation process that enables fire and emergency service agencies to examine performance levels and compare them to industry best practices. Departments are required to develop a community-driven strategic plan, standards of cover assessment and an extensive risk analysis of the community they serve. The model examines 244 performance indicators that must be verified through an on-site peer review by subject matter experts from around the country.
It typically takes a fire department three to five years to become accredited. The accreditation is recognized worldwide as a measure of excellence in the fire service.
“Accreditation is confirmation to our citizens that the highest quality fire service is being received,” said Mayor Keith Summey. “Subjecting our fire department to outside peer reviews and investigations and upholding a high level of standards is important to ensure we continue to innovate to better protect our city.”
“Our purpose in seeking accreditation was to invite the most intense scrutiny available to ensure that we can meet all of the fire protection needs of our thriving city," said Fire Chief Greg Bulanow. "We see this as a validation of more than three years of hard work to systematically improve the service we provide and we will continue to use this process to become an even better department."
NCFD formally announced its international accreditation at the North Charleston City Council meeting on Thursday.