We have used the process in setting our goals, crafting strategic and action plans, continuous evaluation, measurement, and improvement in the services provided to the citizens, businesses, and visitors to the City.
The Fire Department, like all City departments, faces increasing pressure to "do more with less" and justify our expenditures by demonstrating a direct link to improved or at the very least, a continuation in the services we provide. The accreditation process has provided the Fire Department with a well-defined, internationally recognized benchmark system to measure the quality of fire and emergency services.
Self-Assessment & Evaluation Process
This process involves a comprehensive self-assessment process which promotes excellence and encourages quality improvement by enabling the Fire Department to:
- Assure our members and the public that we have definite missions and objectives that are appropriate for the community we serve;
- Provide a detailed evaluation of the services we provide to the community;
- Identify areas of strength and weakness within the department;
- Create methods or systems for addressing deficiencies while building on 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; and
- Create a mechanism for developing strategic and program action plans.
The self-assessment and evaluation model enables our organization 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 the Fire Department:
- Determine community risk and safety needs;
- Evaluate department performance; and
- Establish a method for achieving continuous organizational improvement.
The accreditation model includes a comprehensive range of performance evaluation measures that are broken down into 10 categories:
| Assessment & Planning
||Governance & Administration
| Essential Resources
| External Systems Relations
| Financial Resources
|Goals & Objectives
||Training & Competency
Each category includes a measure or index on which a judgment can be based, as well as performance indicators that define the desired level of ability to perform a particular task.
Accredited Agency Status
Achieving Accredited Agency status has taken work, and will take more work, but its well worth the effort. In a nut shell, accreditation gives us ability to look within our organization and answer three basic questions. Where are we at? Where do we want to be? And finally, how do we get there?