COVINGTON — The Covington Fire Department is one of 18 departments across the country that has earned international re-accreditation.
The CFD’s re-accreditation was announced earlier this month during the Commission on Fire Service Accreditation International convention held in Henderson, Nev.
The Covington Fire Department has been internationally accredited since 2003 and applies for reaccreditation every five years, although the process is ongoing, said April Draper, accreditation program coordinator for the CFD.
“Our documents are living documents that must be maintained at all times, and updated as needed,” she said.
The Covington Fire Department has one civilian and 53 uniformed personnel who operate out of two departments. Draper said there are approximately 195 internationally accredited agencies, three of which are located in Georgia.
Draper said that agencies must create a self-assessment manual as part of the performance indicators it must meet.
“We describe our current practices within these categories, and then appraise their success or non-success,” she said. “We then provide a plan to improve upon our current practices. We must provide exhibits that prove we are indeed performing the way that we have described.”
In addition to the self-assessment manual, the CFD also provides a written standard of cover document, which contains fractal response times and a strategic plan. A peer assessment team is assigned to review the documentation, which is followed up by a site visit to verify and validate what has been submitted, Draper said.
“At the end of the site visit, the team makes their recommendation known to us. We then appear before the commission during one of their bi-annual meetings, along with our peer team leader, and the commission members vote whether or not to approve the team’s recommendation of reaccreditation,” she said.
Upon receiving the reaccredited status, the Covington Fire Department agrees to submit four annual compliance reports over the next five years.
The 18 fire departments who achieved reaccreditation this year are:
• Covington Fire Department, Georgia
• Superstition Fire and Medical District, Arizona
• Bowling Green Fire Department, Kentucky
• Clovis Fire Department, California
• DLA San Joaquin Fire and Emergency Services, California
• DLA Columbus Fire and Emergency Services, Ohio
• DLA Richmond Fire and Emergency Services, Virginia
• Ft. Lee Fire and Emergency Services, Virginia
• Hill AFB Fire Department, Utah
• Lincoln Fire and Rescue, Nebraska
• Maitland Fire Rescue Department, Florida
• City of Maryville Fire Department, Tennessee
• Navy Region Northwest Fire and Emergency Services, Washington
• Palm Harbor Special Fire Control and Rescue District, Florida
• Searcy Fire Department, Arkansas
• Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, South Dakota
• Springfield Fire Department, Missouri
• Toledo Fire and Rescue Department, Ohio