On March 13 the Maitland Fire Rescue Department was awarded Accredited Agency status with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. The department received this honor by meeting the criteria established through the CFAI’s voluntary self-assessment and accreditation program. The Maitland Fire Rescue Department is one of 150 agencies to achieve International Accredited Agency status with the CFAI and the Center for Public Safety Excellence Inc. The department was first awarded Accreditation Status in March 2009. This was its first time going through the re-accreditation process.
The CFAI’s primary mission is to assist fire and emergency service agencies worldwide in achieving excellence through self-assessment and accreditation. This method creates continuous quality improvement and enhancement of service delivery to their communities. The CFAI process is voluntary, and provides an agency with an improvement model to assess their service delivery and performance internally, and then works with a team of peers from other agencies to evaluate their complete self-assessment. Of the 30,125 fire departments in the United States, only 187 are accredited. In fact, of Florida’s 477 fire departments only 19 are accredited. Five agencies are accredited locally; Maitland, Winter Park, Orlando, Orange County and the Villages.
The accreditation process starts with a comprehensive self-assessment and evaluation. The department examines all aspects of its procedures; from fiscal, to operational, to administrative and beyond. It evaluates past, current, and future service levels and internal performances and compares them to industry best practices. This has allowed the department to identify key risk and safety needs, to evaluate the performance of the department, and to establish a method for achieving continuous organizational improvement. The CFAI accreditation process provides a well-defined, internationally recognized benchmark system to measure the quality of fire and emergency service.
Fire Chief Kimberly Neisler, presenting the re-accreditation plaque to City Council, stated that the agency’s achievement of Accredited Agency status, “Demonstrates the commitment of the agency to provide the highest quality of service to our community.” Chief Neisler also said, “We have also been able to use the Commission of Fire Accreditation International’s process as a proactive mechanism to plan for the future of this agency and locate areas where we can improve on the quality of the services we provide.”
Pictured above is Battalion Chief of Administration Charles Van Camp, City Manager Jim Williams, Fire Chief Kimberly Neisler, Battalion Chief of Operations Martin Wohltmann, and CFAI Program Director Karl Risto.