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On August 10, 2005, Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue received Accredited Agency status with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, Inc. (CFAI). CFAI is a non-profit organization developed by the International City Managers Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. It is dedicated to assisting fire and emergency service agencies throughout the world in achieving excellence through self-assessment and peer review.

The Accreditation process is important because it makes fire departments take a look at themselves by identifying the department's strengths and weaknesses and developing an overall improvement plan.Accreditation can benefit a department because it encourages quality improvement through a continuous self-assessment process.The self-assessment answers three basic questions:
1. Is the organization effective?
2. Are the goals, objectives and mission of the department being achieved?
3. What are the reasons for the success of the organization?

The Accreditation process can take approximately 3 to 5 years to complete and the improvement of the department does not end once the department has been accredited.Every year the department must submit an Annual Compliance Report, which documents the department's progress toward completing all recommendations determined by the Accreditation peer assessors. In five years, the department must do another self-assessment and apply for re-accreditation.

In order for Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue to become accredited, the department had to produce four major documents:develop a strategic plan, conduct a risk assessment of the community, develop a standard of cover (how the department will respond to the community risks), and prepare a self-assessment manual.

Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue is one of only 114 fire departments worldwide to achieve this status.Peer assessors from as far away as California and Canada spent five days with PBC Fire-Rescue representatives reviewing department documentation and interviewing personnel as part of the accreditation process. PBC Fire-Rescue met all criteria established by the CFAI and demonstrated a commitment to provide the highest quality of fire-rescue services to the citizens of this county for the years to come.

For more information about the CFAI, its accreditation process and requirements, etc., please visit their website at: http://publicsafetyexcellence.org.