By Maria Rosa Higgins Fallon….
If you didn’t know it already, the Coral Gables Fire Department is one of the best in the nation, according to the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI).
The CFAI, a program of the Center for Public Safety Excellence based in Virginia, voted unanimously to reaccredit the Coral Gables Fire Department during its meeting on Aug. 25 in Chicago, IL.
The Coral Gables Fire Department is one of only 14 departments in the United States to hold both an ISO Class 1 Rating and international accreditation.
“On behalf of our fire department, we are extremely proud to be recognized by our peers for having achieved organizational and professional excellence,” said Coral Gables Fire Chief Walter Reed. “Citizens can rest assured than when they call our fire department for assistance they will receive the best care possible.”
The Coral Gables Fire Department was conferred accredited agency status initially in 2000 and later reaccredited in 2005. The peer review process take place every five years, during which an agency must submit annual reports to demonstrate a continued compliance with core performance indicators and report on progress in executing plans for improvement.
In 2009, the Coral Gables Fire Department initiated the process of reaccreditation. In February, CFAI representatives traveled to Coral Gables to conduct an on-site inspection visit, review selfassessment reports, meet with staff, inspect fire stations and equipment to ensure compliance with 256 performance indicators.
Only after meeting all these rigorous standards, an agency can receive and retain its accreditation status. This accreditation process results in the development of planning documents, including short-term action and longterm strategic plans.
The Commission on Fire Accreditation International helps fire and emergency service agencies around the world achieve organizational and professional excellence through its strategic self-assessment model and accreditation process. These tools promote continuous quality improvement and enhance service delivery to local communities.
The Coral Gables Fire Department provides fire and emergency medical services to the residents and businesses in Coral Gables 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Among the services offered are life safety, commercial building inspections, plans review, public education, emergency management, free blood pressure screenings and CPR classes.