The Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) has awarded New Bern Fire-Rescue its first national accreditation. Chief Robert Boyd received the award Monday during a virtual awards conference.
New Bern Fire-Rescue is one of 24 fire agencies in North Carolina that are accredited. There are a total of 1,089 fire departments in the state. The CFAI accreditation process is the primary method for fire departments to demonstrate their commitment to excellence.
An accreditation peer team verified and validated approximately 250 performance indicators, designed to help fire agencies achieve their goals. The process included self-assessment, strategic planning, development of forward-thinking initiatives, and a roadmap for continued improvement and better operational practices for the department. Accreditation is a time-consuming process and forces departments to take a thorough look at their agencies and their relationship to the community(ies) they serve. New Bern Fire-Rescue began working towards accreditation in 2018.
“This is a huge accomplishment for our department and marks another first for New Bern,” said Chief Boyd. “I am incredibly proud of our staff and appreciative of all the city departments, employees, and the Board of Aldermen for their support and participation in this effort.”
Accreditation assessors visited New Bern in mid-May and spent nearly a week embedded in the department, meeting and talking with staff, reviewing department policies, examining strengths and weaknesses, conducting on-site inspections, and studying the department’s core competencies and performance. Then, that data was compared to national standards that must be met in order to achieve accreditation. Every 5 years, New Bern Fire-Rescue must apply for re-accreditation and must show continued improvement.
“Over and over again, New Bern Fire-Rescue demonstrates its commitment to service and community,” said Interim City Manager Foster Hughes. “This national achievement is proof that the department stands out among the rest, maintaining professional standards and a high level of customer service and response for our community. We congratulate Chief Boyd and his staff on this noteworthy achievement.”
New Bern’s police and parks and recreation departments are also nationally accredited.