March 9, 2020, Canton, MI – Last week, the Canton Fire Department was awarded full accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). Officials from the department appeared before a ten-person CFAI panel at the Center for Public Safety Excellence’s annual conference, for the final phase of accreditation approval. CFAI accreditation is an international recognition of achievement, demonstrating to the community that the department is performing to industry best practices and is holding itself accountable through an external peer review.
Canton Fire Department became a CFAI registered agency in 2013, beginning the cumbersome task of fulfilling the rigorous requirements and self-assessment tasks needed to comply with the 242 standards required for full accreditation. Last December, a four-person assessment team from CFAI was on-site for one week, conducting a comprehensive review of the department’s policies and proofs submitted to demonstrate compliance. In addition, the team interviewed department leaders and spoke extensively with various department personnel, as well as executives throughout the Township. The panel also reviewed and evaluated fire department facilities and emergency equipment, as well as service levels provided to the community.
Upon completion of their assessment, a comprehensive report was prepared outlining successes as well as items of concern, with an overall recommendation for approval by the CFAI panel at the annual conference. CFAI Assessment Team Leader Gerard Kay described Canton as having an “exceptional fire department” citing the quality of its facilities and equipment, as well as its high caliber of personnel.
Public Safety Director Joshua Meier stated, “CFAI accreditation is highly regarded by firefighting agencies internationally. Some of the most progressive departments were in attendance at the conference this past week, all seeking full accreditation for meeting the rigorous standards required of them. The Canton Fire Department is now one of only four agencies in Michigan to have received this prestigious award.”
Receiving CFAI accreditation solidifies the professionalism Canton strives for in its continual service to the community. Maintaining accreditation will require the department to continue being community-focused, data-driven, outcome-focused, strategic-minded, well organized, properly equipped, and properly staffed and trained—all of which are components of CFAI.