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Fire Department Achieves International Accreditation

Fire Department Achieves International Accreditation

Less than one percent of fire departments have achieved accreditation by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). The Palo Alto Fire Department joined the ranks of the elite few after a unanimous commission vote on August 9.

“I am grateful to the CFAI for its validation of our belief that the Palo Alto Fire Department is a model for fire agencies,” said Fire Chief Eric Nickel. “Providing excellent fire and emergency medical services is not just our goal, it is our passion, and we appreciate that external evaluators recognize the outstanding services provided by the men and women of the Palo Alto Fire Department.”

City Manager James Keene said the accreditation process affirms Palo Alto’s innovative approach to fire and emergency medical practices. "This achievement places the department among less than 250 accredited fire departments in the world, “said Keene. "Using the accreditation model, Chief Nickel and his staff have transformed the department with a strategic plan, and an objective evaluation of the community’s risk. They are constantly evaluating programs and services to ensure the most cost- effective services and safest outcomes for Palo Alto and Stanford’s citizens and visitors."

Fire service accreditation is a voluntary and challenging process designed to identify those fire departments that exceed industry benchmarks. The process involves an extensive organizational self-assessment and external peer review of key performance indicators and core competencies that cover all aspects of emergency response, training procedures and documentation, equipment and facility readiness, administrative policies and practices, and emergency preparedness.

“The process makes it possible for us to quantitatively and qualitatively demonstrate that the Department is providing economical services that meet the needs and risks of the community,” continued Nickel. “We identify opportunities to improve the service and ensure our accountability to elected leaders and the community we proudly serve.”

Last Updated: August 9, 2018