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International Accreditation

The Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue Department received initial accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) on March 23, 2002 and has continued to maintain accreditation each five year cycle.

International Accreditation Logo

What is accreditation?

Accreditation is a comprehensive self-assessment and evaluation model that enables organizations to examine past, current, and future service levels and internal performance and compare them to industry best practices. This process leads to improved service delivery.

  • Fire service accreditation is administered by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), through the Center for Public Safety Excellence, and requires an embedded culture of quality throughout an organization.
  • The accreditation process helps to determine community risks and fire safety needs, evaluates the performance of an agency, and provides a method for continuous improvement.
  • In order to receive international accreditation, CFAI reviewed the department's assessment in 10 major categories and more than 258 performance indicators, ranging from response time, training, resource deployment, public education and more.
  • Departments seeking accreditation must compile a strategic plan and risk-hazard assessment.
  • The accreditation is valid for five years, which means departments must continuously review their processes and services to ensure they are providing the best, updated, professional fire service.

What is the value of accreditation?

Accreditation through CFAI provides our agency the accreditation model, various accreditation publications, training and access to experienced peer assessors. By utilizing these tools our department ensures strict adherence to the highest level of standards. Accreditation benefits residents and businesses by:

  • Ensures our departments' dedication to excellence
  • Ensures an agency-wide culture of continuous improvement
  • Ensures our department in communicating consistent leadership philosophies
  • Ensures our department receives independent verification and validation of our operations
  • Ensures tangible data to our stakeholders