- What are the benefits of accreditation?
- Making the accreditation process easier.
With so many top-priority issues to deal with, fire department accreditation might seem like a nice ideal if you had the time, staff, budget, and resources to make it happen.
In fact, comparative statistics from the National Fire Protective Association show that not only has the total volume of fire department calls increased since 1980, but the variety of emergencies departments handle has changed as well.
While the number of calls for fires has actually decreased since 1980, the numbers of calls for medical aid, false alarms, mutual aid, hazmat, and other services has dramatically increased.
What this means is, fire departments need to adapt to the changing landscaping of serving the community and implement best practices to deliver the all-hazard emergency service your community expects.
As the fire service continues to grow and evolve, accreditation marks one path of success for departments that want to stand out among their peers.
What is accreditation and who is it for?
Accreditation is a certification or verification that an organization maintains high standards and achieves professional credentials that may be required (or highly encouraged) in the industry, signaling a level of excellence.
As a professional symbol of competency, accreditation impacts a wide variety of fields, from construction and education to food safety and healthcare. No matter the industry, if you want to prove you perform with excellence, authority, and credibility, you seek accreditation.
For example, the main law enforcement program, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), has over 1,000 accredited members. Although not as widespread as in other fields, accreditation in the fire service is gaining momentum.
The two primary accreditations that fire departments can seek are the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) issued by Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) and Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS).
Of course, becoming accredited is neither easy nor cheap – even for those already operating at the highest levels. It involves an extensive, step-by-step review and approval process, regardless of the accreditation or field.
If you are considering fire service accreditation, take a look at the benefits as well as how to make the process easier for your fire department.