CHICAGO, IL – After a unanimous vote of approval by the seven member Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District became the first agency in Contra Costa County and only the sixth fire department in the State of California to achieve international accreditation.
The vote came after a public hearing today in Chicago where District managers, including Fire Chief Richard Price and Board President Roxanne Lindsay, spoke in support of and further substantiated the findings of the extensive candidacy report prepared by an independent CFAI Peer Assessment Team. Fire District managers also answered numerous questions from the Commission regarding compliance with the Standards of Cover (SOC) deployment analysis, the purpose of which is to determine whether an agency is prepared to provide a level of service commensurate with its responsibilities, risks and service level objectives.
“Pursuing CFAI accreditation over the past three years has been one of the most significant and important endeavors ever undertaken by the District,” said Richard Price, Fire Chief for the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District. “Accreditation required the combined best efforts of all members of our organization and strengthened an embedded culture of quality and best practices in this agency.”
As part of the accreditation process it was necessary for the District to develop and adopt several key documents, including a Self-Assessment Manual (SAM). By addressing critical questions, the SAM provides detailed evaluations of all District programs and activities and compares District effectiveness next to the best practices in the industry.
The findings from these evaluations form the basis for future goals and planning activities of the District in a focused, organization-wide effort to understand and improve the quality of District services. Where practices were found to be deficient, specific action plans for tangible improvement were developed and incorporated into the Goals and Performance Indicators section of the District’s 2008-2013 Business Plan. All key District documents are readily available for public review on the District’s website at www.firedepartment.org.
“The accreditation process helped us to better understand community risks and fire safety needs and to more accurately evaluate the performance of our agency,” stated Board President Roxanne Lindsay. “There will be no resting on our laurels - accredited agencies also must continue to evolve and improve to maintain their accredited status.”
About the Commission
The Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) is governed by eleven members representing a cross-section of the fire service industry, including fire departments, city and county management, code councils, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the International Association of Firefighters. The full Commission meets biannually to review all agencies applying for accredited status.
About the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District
The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District provides all-risk fire, rescue and emergency medical services to the communities of Alamo, Blackhawk, the Town of Danville, Diablo, the City of San Ramon, the southern area of Morgan Territory and the Tassajara Valley, in Northern California (Contra Costa County). The District’s service area encompasses approximately 155 square miles and serves a population of 167,500.