Guelph Fire Department maintains accreditation status

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Left, Deputy CAO Public Services Colleen Clack, Guelph Fire Chief John Osborne, Chief Steven Westerman, chair of the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, Deputy Chief Dave Elloway, and Accreditation Coordinator Fire Prevention Officer Frank Stocker.

Guelph, Ont., July 27, 2017 – Today, for the second time in its history, the Guelph Fire Department has successfully achieved accreditation status with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International.

Achieving accreditation means the fire department has met international performance standards, is performing its services and duties well, and is aligned with best practices in the industry.

“We’re thrilled that Guelph continues to be among a handful of fire organizations in Canada to achieve accreditation, which is an achievement that every member of the Guelph Fire Department and emergency services team can be proud of as it shows that we are a quality agency,” says Colleen Clack, deputy CAO Public Services.

Earlier today, Clack, Fire Chief John Osborne, Deputy Chief Dave Elloway, and Accreditation Coordinator Fire Prevention Officer Frank Stocker appeared before the internationally recognized commission in Charlotte, North Carolina. Following the hearing, the commission’s members voted unanimously for the department to maintain its Accredited Agency status.

The commission’s decision was based on the findings of a peer team comprised of fire service professionals from the United States and Canada. The team conducted a site visit in Guelph during the first week of December 2016, where they verified and validated all documents prepared in accordance with the established criterion of the accreditation process, industry standards, and best practices.

Through a report to the commission, the team recommended the fire department maintain its Accredited Agency status (first achieved in March 2011). The report also included five strategic recommendations for the department to consider for further improvement to its current operations and services. These recommendations include data analysis to better understand performance and resource allocation as well as an analysis of the services provided to the city according to its needs.

Osborne adds that Accredited Agency status is a highly sought after designation by fire departments worldwide. “By following the accreditation processes for continuous improvement, the Guelph Fire Department remains committed to providing enhanced emergency and non-emergency services to the community.”

Guelph joins 233 other fire/rescue agencies worldwide that already hold Accredited Agency status with the commission. In Canada, accredited fire departments include Ottawa Fire Services, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services, City of Calgary Fire Department, Red Deer Emergency Services, and City of St. Albert Fire Service.

About fire department accreditation

According to the commission’s website, accreditation is a comprehensive self-assessment and quality improvement model that enables organizations to examine past, current, and future service levels and internal performance and compare them to current research and industry best practices. This process leads to a more efficient and effective emergency service organization.

The Center for Public Safety Excellence’s Accreditation program, administered by the commission allows fire and emergency service agencies to compare their performance to:

  • Determine community risk and safety needs and develop community-specific Standards of Cover.
  • Evaluate the performance of the department.
  • Establish a method for achieving continuous organizational improvement.

To maintain its Accredited Agency status, the fire department must submit four successive annual compliance reports to the commission, and prior to the fifth year anniversary date, the department must conduct a comprehensive self-evaluation, prepare documents for review by a site team who will validate and verify the agency processes in accordance with the latest edition of the Fire and Emergency Service Self-Assessment Manual.

For more information

John Osborne
Fire Chief
Guelph Fire Department
519-822-1260 extension 2140
john.osborne@guelph.ca