What a Week!

The 2016 Excellence Conference is now a memory – and what a great memory. Almost 400 individuals, representing dozens of municipal and government fire agencies and designated fire officers descended on the Caribe Royale in Orlando last week for inspiring keynote addresses, stimulating conference sessions, and great networking.

The highlight of the week was the debut of the first Accreditation Bootcamp. The Bootcamp delivered a series of conference sessions designed to take attendees through the accreditation process. Sessions built on getting started on the process all the way to building an accreditation team, continuing with an overview of community risk, establishing an accreditation culture in a department finishing with a session on what to expect when coming before the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. Most of the sessions were filled to capacity.

For many, the Accreditation Bootcamp was their first introduction to the accreditation model and process. The Bootcamp offered an opportunity for agencies to meet with accreditation managers and officers from many departments that have gone through the process and could offer special insight on what to expect.

Special thanks go to all of the companies that exhibited products and services at the conference.

  • Emergency Reporting
  • Stats FD
  • Deccan International
  • Code 3 Simulator
  • Intterra
  • FirstWatch
  • International Association of Firefighters
  • Columbia Southern University
  • Power DMS
  • Institution of Fire Engineers
  • National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
  • CPSE’s Technical Advisory Program
  • Blue Card


Fifteen Agencies Achieve Accreditation in Orlando

The Center for Public Safety Excellence would like to congratulate and recognize 15 agencies that were awarded accredited status by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International last week in Orlando, FL. Accredited status is earned by an agency that has embraced quality improvement by addressing 253 performance indicators, of which 82 are considered core competencies, covering 10 categories and has been verified and validated by a team of peers. The agencies are:

  • Spartanburg Fire Department, Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • College Station Fire Department, College Station, Texas
  • Portage Fire Department, Portage Michigan
  • Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Doral, Florida
  • Peoria Fire-Medical Department, Peoria, Arizona
  • Roseville Fire Department, Roseville, California
  • Vista Fire Department, Vista, California
  • South Metro Fire Rescue, Centennial, Colorado
  • West Des Moines Fire Department, West Des Moines, Iowa
  • DLA Fire and Emergency Services, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania
  • 60th CES/CEF Fire Emergency Services Flight, Travis AFB, California
  • Goodfellow Fire Emergency Services, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas
  • Grand Rapids Fire Department, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Langley Air Force Base Fire Department, Langley AFB, Virginia
  • 115th Fighter Wing Truax Fire & Emergency Services, Madison, Wisconsin

If you would like to know more about how you can earn accredited status or find out how you can bring a quality improvement culture to your organization contact Karl Ristow, CFAI Program Director at kristow@cpse.org.



Credentialing Town Hall

On Tuesday, March 15th, the CPC held its annual credentialing town hall. The informal gathering was attended by CPC Commissioners, designated officers, peer reviewers, and those interested in finding out more about the designation process.

The Commission had the opportunity to congratulate one of the newest CFOs to be designated earlier that day – Chief Tom DeMint, Fire Chief of Poudre Fire Authority and also congratulate Chief Josh Waldo, Fire Chief of Bozeman Fire Department for successful re-designation, 2nd term, for CFO, CTO and FM.

Debbie Sobotka, CPSE Deputy Director and CPC Program Director, shared updates from the CPC business meeting including points awarded for accreditation managers and team leaders for CFAI as well as points for current designees pursuing a second designation.

The format of the town hall provided attendees an opportunity to share challenges they faced in completing the application and calm the fears of those that have yet to pursue designation.

A huge thanks to all that attended. The feedback was terrific. Look for updates and changes throughout the year.

“The forum provided an excellent opportunity for the commission to hear the challenges our customers face. Moving forward I am confident we will provide a more user-friendly product” stated Steve Locke, CFO, Chairman, CPC.

Partners in Excellence – National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF)

The 2016 CPSE Excellence Conference kicked-off with the keynote address by Ron Siarnicki, CFO, Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). Chief Siarnicki shared the mission and vision of the Foundation which set the stage for the annual CPSE NFFF fundraiser.

More than 240 conference attendees gathered on Tuesday evening at the Caribe Royale to support the NFFF. The event offered light snacks, drinks, and dozens of door prizes to lucky raffle winners throughout the event.

Sales of raffle tickets and a 50/50 drawing brought the total donated to NFFF to $6696.

NFFF is one of CPSE’s partners in excellence. In addition to the annual fundraiser, CPSE has established a node on the NFFF Walk of Honor and published a crosswalk between the 9th edition Fire and Emergency Service Self-Assessment Manual and the NFFF’s 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives.

CPSE provided two main prizes including a $250 gift card and a complimentary registration to the 2017 Excellence Conference.

The evening’s grand prize, sponsored by ISO, was an expense-paid trip (airfare, hotel and dinner ticket) to attend the Congressional Fire Service Institute’s (CFSI) National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on May 5th in Washington, D.C. The winner of the trip was Gary West, CFO, Division Chief of the Northwest Fire District in Tucson, Arizona.

Thank you to all those that supported the NFFF during the fundraiser and congratulations to all the prize winners.

For more information on the Foundation, visit www.firehero.org.

Purchase a Walk of Honor Brick in the CPSE node.


CPSE Consortiums Come Together at Conference

Representatives from 13 state and regional accreditation and credentialing consortiums came together last week during the Excellence Conference in Orlando, Florida to share ideas on how to grow their respective groups. Each consortium representative offered a brief snapshot of recent developments and activities in their region. Regions represented at the meeting were:

  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio/Michigan
  • Kansas/Missouri
  • California
  • Canada
  • Pacific Northwest
  • Iowa
  • Georgia
  • Tennessee
  • South Carolina
  • Rocky Mountain
  • Texas

CPSE staff shared ideas from the recently-released “Consortium Toolkit” as an example of resources available to each of the groups. CPSE staff also committed to attend each consortium at least once during the calendar year to update agencies and officers in the region on the latest developments from the office and to hear feedback from the various agencies in attendance.

If you are interested in establishing a consortium in your state, province or region, contact the CPSE at 703-691-4620 to obtain a copy of the Consortium Toolkit and other resources.

Panel Discussion Highlights General Sessions

On Wednesday March 16th, as part of the CPSE Excellence Conference, Preet Bassi, CPSE CEO, moderated a panel discussion of city managers that serve as volunteer leaders on the CPSE Board of Director and Commission on Professional Credentialing. The panelists were: Darin Atteberry, City Manager, City of Fort Collins, CO, CPSE Board Member, Christopher Cotter, CFO, City Administrator (retired), Summit, NJ, CPC Commissioner, and Jeff Pomeranz, City Manager, City of Cedar Rapids, IA, CPSE Board Member.

Preet engaged the panelists in a lively discussion about accreditation, credentialing, and the important role that fire departments and their leadership play in a community. Among the questions Preet posed were, “what is the greatest contribution the fire service makes to local communities” and “what traits do you look for in fire service leadership?” When asked what has been the greatest benefit of their fire departments being accredited, they responded with improved response times, lowered insurance rates, and community pride and accountability. Public confidence and implementation of a continuous improvement culture and strategy were common themes in their responses.

Fort Collins is protected by the Poudre Fire Authority and Darin serves on the Board for the fire authority. PFA achieved CFAI accreditation for the first time in 2015. The Cedar Rapids Fire Department is currently an applicant for CFAI accreditation and the West Des Moines Fire Department, where Jeff used to be City Manager, first achieved CFAI accreditation in 2006. Christopher was a 28 year career members of the Summit Fire Department, serving as chief for 10 years, prior to becoming city administrator. The City of Summit Fire Department achieved CFAI accreditation for the first time in 2011.

CPSE Develops “Stakeholder Driven” Strategic Plan

On Tuesday March 15th at the CPSE Excellence Conference, Preet Bassi, CPSE CEO, announced a newly adopted CPSE Stakeholder Driven Strategic Plan. The new plan will provide the road map for our organization’s continuous improvement through the year 2021. Joining Preet was Rick Fagan, CPSE Technical Advisor Program Director who provided a brief summary of the process facilitated by the Center’s Technical Advisor Program, and which was applied in building the plan.

Major focus was on gaining key stakeholder feedback identifying their expectations of CPSE, as well as organizational strengths and weaknesses perceived. Live stakeholder meetings were held with the commissioners of both CFAI and CPC, and surveys were provided to regional consortium coordinators, CFAI peer team leaders, workshop instructors, technical advisors, technical reviewers, strategic partners and the board of directors. All key stakeholder feedback was processed, and internal staff and leadership stakeholders then updated the corporate mission and values to ensure contemporary relevance, and critical issues and gaps were identified through analysis of corporate strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. These process work sessions provided the formulation of new CPSE strategic initiatives with goals and objectives for organization continuous improvement. Below is an illustration of the process that was applied:

Preet engaged with the conference audience by providing insights gained from the use of key stakeholder feedback, and the value to any organization by applying a customer (stakeholder) driven strategic plan. Preet shared the new CPSE mission, our values to be applied as culture in carrying out our mission, and the six strategic initiatives which will be addressed in improving CPSE through year 2021. She emphasized that a primary focus will be on maintaining and enhancing the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) and Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) Models and Processes. The six strategic initiatives will ensure that the CFAI and CPC models remain current and effective. The following is an illustrative summary of the CPSE Strategic Plan:

Upcoming CPSE Workshops

CPSE has several workshops scheduled for the next few months. Register today to reserve your seat at the workshop that meets your needs. Please pass these dates and locations on to your colleagues at adjacent fire departments to help us promote attendance at all workshops. alloescort

For course details and registration, go to: www.cpse.org/news/upcoming-workshops-events.aspx.

April 05, 2016
DOD ONLY: Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Fort Huachuca, AZ

April 12, 2016
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Sierra Vista, AZ

April 12, 2016
DOD ONLY: Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Richmond, KY

April 13, 2016
The Reimagined Community Risk Assessment
Standards of Cover Webinar

April 18, 2016
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Mississauga, Canada

April 20, 2016
CPSE Peer Assessor Workshop – April 2016

April 21, 2016
The Reimagined Community Risk Assessment
Standards of Cover Webinar

April 25, 2016
DOD Only: Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Fort Detrick, MD

April 27, 2016
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Burbank, CA

May 02, 2016
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Wauwatosa, WI

May 02, 2016
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Tamarac, FL

May 03, 2016
DOD ONLY: Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Sigonella, Italy

May 03, 2016
The Reimagined Community Risk Assessment
Standards of Cover Webinar

May 05, 2016
Nurturing Fire Service Leaders Through Mentoring
Wauwatosa, WI

May 11, 2016
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Jacksonville, NC

May 18, 2016
Data Analysis & Presentation
Addison, TX

June 13, 2016
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Covington, GA

June 20, 2016
Quality Improvement Through Accreditation
Olivette, MO