International Fire Service Accreditation
The Mt. Lebanon Fire Department is an Internationally Accredited Agency through the Commisssion on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), an 11-member commission representing a cross-section of the fire service industry, including fire departments, city and county management, code councils, the US Department of Defense, and the International Association of Firefighters. As of March 7, 2012, the department was one of only 160 fire departments in the United States and Canada to have achieved this elite status, recognized as a worldwide measure of fire service excellence.
The CFAI Accreditation Program is a comprehensive self-assessment and evaluation model that enables fire and emergency service organizations to examine past, current, and future service levels and performance and compare them to industry best practices. This process leads to improved service delivery by helping fire departments:
- Determine community risk and safety needs.
- Evaluate the performance of the department.
- Establish a method for achieving continuous organizational improvement.
Increasingly, local governments and fire service organizations are facing 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.
The Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) comprehensive self-assessment process promotes excellence and encourages quality improvement by enabling fire and EMS agencies to:
- 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
The accreditation process results in the development of planning documents, including short-term action and long-term strategic plans—important tools in the budgeting process and a basis for justifying departmental programs and services. The accreditation process has improved the department, its services, and its vision for the future.
For more information regarding accreditation, visit the Center for Public Safety Excellence website.