If you were scheduled to have a major operation, would you choose a hospital that meets the nation’s highest quality standards?
You’d probably want the surgeon to have the best possible credentials.
What about your fire and rescue department – the one you call in an emergency?
Seeking to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to providing the best emergency services, Anaheim Fire & Rescue on March 11 achieved accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International , which is part of the nonprofit Center for Public Safety Excellence.
The mark of excellence is a major milestone, Chief Randy R. Bruegman said.
“This effort illustrates Anaheim Fire & Rescue’s true commitment to continuous improvement, serving our community efficiently and providing a fair and safe work environment for all of our fire personnel,” Bruegman said.
Like knocking down a four-alarm fire, the process of winning accreditation isn’t easy. It took 30 months of scrutiny.
Bruegman said the fire department was eager to win accreditation to underscore its commitment to serving a city of nearly 350,000 residents and 20 million annual visitors.
“We’ve invested in personnel and resources to make our city the safest possible,” Bruegman said.
To earn accreditation, agencies must meet well-defined benchmarks measuring quality of fire and emergency services.
In 2013, AFD presented a strategic plan developed with community and business leaders to the Anaheim City Council outlining the department’s vision. It identified 11 recommendations – the first of which called for evaluating the department against a national model for quality and best practices.
As part of the process, the department underwent a comprehensive self-assessment and evaluation that examined service and performance compared to the highest standards in the industry. AFD had to evaluate 258 performance indicators divided into 10 categories that were submitted to CFAI for review.
After that, a peer assessor team visited AFD for an on-site evaluation. Finally, the team recommended Anaheim Fire & Rescue for accreditation.
“We are extremely proud of this milestone,” Bruegman said.