FORT BENNING, Ga. – The Fort Benning Fire Department was recognized April 16 for reaching Accredited Agency status with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International.
Fort Benning is one of only 10 fire departments in the Department of Defense to achieve Internationally Accredited Agency status with the CFAI and the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc., and did so on their first attempt at accreditation.
CFAI is designed to guide fire and emergency service agencies throughout the world to achieve excellence through self-assessment and accreditation in order to provide continuous quality improvement and the enhancement of service delivery to their communities.
Through the voluntary process, agencies are presented with an improvement model to assess their service delivery and performance internally and then works with a team of peers from other agencies to evaluate their completed self-assessment.
For the department’s leaders, accreditation is a natural extension of their efforts.
“(It) demonstrates the commitment of the agency to provide the highest quality of service to our community,” said Assistant Chief Stuart A. Namie.
The process, started three years ago, involved a thorough review of the emergency services provided and the process through which they are delivered. The voluntary self-assessment began with a Community Risk Assessment which identified low to high hazard risks throughout Fort Benning and its geographical locations. A Standard of Cover was then developed to determine how the identified risks are currently being mitigated and how to better reduce risk in the future.
Gaining accreditation has helped shape department operations for the future.
“We have been able to use the Commission on Fire Accreditation International’s process as a proactive mechanism to plan for the future of this agency and locate areas where we can improve on the quality of the services we provided,” said Namie.
The accredited status is given for five years. The Fort Benning Fire Department will have to re-apply for accreditation again during 2026 and reconfirm their commitment to continuous quality improvement and the enhancement of service delivery to their community.