CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – August 9, 2018 – The City of Cedar Rapids and the Cedar Rapids Fire Department are pleased to have been recognized by the Center for Public Safety Excellence and the Commission on Fire Accreditation International as achieving accredited agency status. A delegation from the City and Fire Department, including City Manager Jeff Pomeranz, City Councilmember/Public Safety & Youth Services Chairperson Susie Weinacht, Assistant Fire Chief Greg Smith, Training Chief Andy Olesen, District Chief Curtis Walser, and Fire Captain Matt Woerner, presented at the Commission on Fire Accreditation International hearings at the Fire-Rescue International in Dallas, Texas this afternoon.
The Cedar Rapids Fire Department is one of only 5 fire departments in Iowa and 247 worldwide that has earned accreditation from the CFAI, an internationally-recognized benchmark for fire and emergency services.
According to City Manager Jeff Pomeranz, “Accreditation of our community’s public safety agencies has been a goal of mine since becoming City Manager. It is much more than getting a plaque that says that the Cedar Rapids Fire Department is accredited, rather it is about validation from fire professionals that our fire department has a strong process of self-assessment, strategic planning and continued improvement toward better business and operational practices that ultimately result in a safer community.”
The self-assessment process divides the department into 10 categories, allowing the process to separate like areas and components to allow a systematic self-assessment. Areas including operations, governance and administration, human resources, and finance are assessed, researched, and evaluated, emphasizing the area’s present performance, its past performance in meeting defined objectives, and the future plans to continue to meet the objectives of that criterion.
Community risk analysis evaluates the hazards and buildings in our community. Risk evaluation ensures that fire protection is current and relevant for the community and the areas protected.
The standards of cover document provides a comprehensive evaluation of the community the department serves. This includes evaluating the community’s demographics, population density, land and infrastructure limitations, and building stock. Furthermore, the department’s resources and performance are evaluated, including staffing and deployment objectives; time of day demands on the department’s resources; and total response times including call processing and dispatch times, turnout times, and travel times.
The strategic business plan serves as the repository of all identified short-, medium-, and long-term goals and objectives. All findings in the self-assessment, risk analysis, and standards of cover portions are tied together to promote strategic discussion among the senior leadership and to plan for the future.
Working towards, achieving, and maintaining accreditation raises the profile of the fire department in the community and emphasizes the Fire Department’s dedication to excellence to our citizens and businesses. It furthers the City of Cedar Rapids department-wide culture of continuous improvement and provides independent verification and validation of our city’s operations.