News | Aug. 21, 2019

DLA Richmond Fire and Emergency Services ranked among the best departments in the country

By Leon Moore DLA Aviation Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Richmond’s Fire and Emergency Services is among the top departments in the country. The Commission on Fire Accreditation International unanimously recommended the department for accreditation through the Center for Public Safety Excellence after a hearing Aug. 9, in Atlanta, Georgia.

A press release states CFAI is dedicated to assisting the fire and emergency service agencies throughout the world in achieving excellence through self-assessment and accreditation in order to provide continuous quality improvement and the enhancement of service delivery to their communities. The CFAI process is voluntary, provides an agency with an improvement model to assess their service delivery and performance internally and then works with a team of peers from other agencies to evaluate their completed self-assessment.

Don Rodgers, fire chief, DLA Installation Management Richmond’s Fire & Emergency Services and department Training Chief/Accreditation Manager Will Hock attended the hearing.

Rodgers said he is extremely proud of the hard work put in by his team that made achieving this milestone a reality.

“This is all about continuous process improvement and meeting the needs of our customers and stakeholders. Without the support of the F&ES team and our installation management and security and emergency services leadership, we would not have achieved this designation,” he said.

Rodgers said meeting the criteria for accreditation consisted of several key documents that must be completed and maintained to include a detailed strategic plan, community risk assessment and standards of coverage documents. He said there are also 252 performance indicators of which 86 are core competencies. If any of these core competencies are not met, the department is deemed not credible and must meet them before they will even be considered for accreditation.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2017, there were 29,819 fire departments in the U.S., but only 266 were CPSE accredited.

Rodgers said this is the 3rd time the department has been accredited, the first being in 2009, again in 2014 and this year. He said each accreditation period lasts five years.  

“We are part of the 9% of departments that have earned this designation. Not only has the department achieved this feat this year, we have maintained this level of effort for the past 10 years,” Rodgers said.

Hock said it can’t be underestimated, the importance of this achievement in the quest to provide the best service to those who support the nation’s warfighters.

“Accreditation is the driving force for fire departments to self-assess their processes and procedures at a holistic all-encompassing level. The process leaves no stone unturned and encourages departments to strive towards continuous improvement on all levels. In the end, this results in the public receiving the best product in the event of an emergency,” he said.