Qatargas EMS Department Earns First Accredited Industrial Agency Status

The Fire and Rescue Emergency Management Services of Qatargas attains Accredited Agency status at CFAI’s August hearing during the Fire-Rescue International Conference in Atlanta, GA.

Qatargas becomes the first accredited agency in the Middle East region as well as the first industrial accredited agency in the world. The accreditation process demonstrates Qatargas EMS Department’s commitment to providing high-quality services to Qatargas and its multiple sites around the Ras Laffan industrial area of Qatar.

Accepting the accreditation plaque for Qatargas EMS Department were EMS and Security Managers Hassan Jassim Abu Khamis and Vinod Nambiar, who were also both awarded the CFO designation during the CPSE awards dinner on August 27.

Qatargas, as a company, benefited from the accreditation process. Under the continuous improvement model, the company is maintaining an active strategic plan as well as a comprehensive assessment of the overall levels of risk of the company.

Most Recent Stop on the Consortium Tour – The Heart of America

On August 13, 2015, Preet Bassi, CPSE CEO, joined the Heart of America Fire Chiefs Council Accreditation Task Force Meeting in Lenexa, KS. This group holds quarterly meetings at the Training Facility in Lenexa, KS and draws attendees from Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas. Chief Lonny Owens, CFO, Fire Chief of the Lenexa Fire Department, leads the consortium. The approximate 40 attendees represented registered, applicant, candidate, and accredited agencies and credentialed officers.

During the meeting, CPSE had the opportunity to brief the consortium on important corporate activities and provide updates on the accreditation, credentialing, and technical advising programs. There was a great deal of curiosity regarding the 9th edition of the accreditation model among the attendees. In addition to an overview of how the 9th edition was developed, a high-level summary of the changes between the 8th and 9th edition was provided.

During each meeting, the consortium conducts a training session and holds an open forum for agencies and accreditation managers. During this meeting, CPSE invited feedback from the members on any challenges they had faced in their interactions with CPSE and what suggestions for improvement they had.

Accredited agencies and credentialed professionals have found that banding together to form regional consortiums is an effective networking opportunity. Through the important work of these consortiums, agencies and individuals that are new to CPSE programs gain local support in acheiving and maintaining accreditation and/or designation. Of the fourteen consortiums in existence, some have been long-established while others are early in the development stage. CPSE staff looks forward to attending at least one of each consortium meeting in-person during 2016.

If you are interested in getting a consortium started in your area, contact Karl Ristow at for assistance.

Perpetual Motion

By Deputy Chief Norris Croom

Perpetual motion can be defined as “a state in which movement or action is or appears to be continuous and unceasing.”1 While in theory perpetual motion machines would be able to function indefinitely, science tells us that this is not feasible due to challenges associated with friction and energy. However, if we look at the concept of “continuous and unceasing”, this sounds very similar to the tenets of accreditation and credentialing.

Both the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) and the Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) emphasize the need for continuous, quality improvement for agencies and individuals, and the same holds true for the commissions as well. We, too, have to practice what we preach, meaning that the processes for accreditation and credentialing should be “continuous and unceasing”.

The CFAI recently completed their revision process, and they are now publishing the 9th edition of the Fire and Emergency Services Self-Assessment Manual (FESSAM). Utilizing a number of technical working groups and subject matter experts, the manual was reviewed and updated from cover to cover. In order to be relevant, it has to be current, and in today’s rapidly evolving world, people expect that the accrediting body of fire and emergency services is evaluating agencies based on the latest best practices. Just look at how fire ground tactics have changed with the implementation of transitional attack and blue card since the 8th edition was published.

Likewise, the CPC is constantly looking at how to improve our processes as well. What started out as one designation, the Chief Fire Officer (CFO), has multiplied into five designations. This was done, in part, to address the needs of fire and EMS leaders, as it was communicated back to the Commission, while also improving the overall process so that it was more applicable to a wider range of people.

The CPC has also used technical working groups and subject matter experts to work on revisions to our process. And, we also have used our most valuable asset, our designees, to help guide our processes. Who better to provide feedback than the very people who are going through the process?

We heard that the CFO designation was not achievable by everyone (and it wasn’t intended to be), but that succession planning was important. Therefore, the Fire Officer (FO) designation was created. We heard that there were other areas of expertise in fire and EMS, not just a Chief FIRE Officer. So, we developed the Chief EMS Officer (CEMSO), Chief Training Officer (CTO), and Fire Marshal (FM) designations, and these have also been modified.

If you remember, Chief EMS Officer started out as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). After putting that program through a review process, we found that CMO was a term that was more applicable to physicians and medical directors as opposed to EMS chiefs. So, we changed the name to reflect what the designation actually represented.

We are currently in the process of updating the applications, looking at how to make them easier to complete if you hold more than one designation, and how we can make the electronic document more user friendly. We are constantly evaluating the applications against industry terminology and organizational structures to ensure that we are keeping up as fire and EMS agency leaders improvise, adapt, and overcome.

To be able to keep up with the rapidly changing environment that we are encountering every single day, we must be in a state of perpetual motion. From the agency to the individual to both of our commissions, we must be in that state that is, not appears to be, continuous and unceasing. If we utilize that concept, we should be able to ensure our success. And while we know that, today, science proves that perpetual motion is not possible, why can’t we strive to prove science wrong? We are already well on our way with our continuous efforts to improve fire and emergency services.

Norris W. Croom III, EFO, CEMSO, CFO, is the Deputy Chief of Operations for the Castle Rock (CO) Fire and Rescue Department. He currently serves as the Vice Chair and EMS Representative on the CPSE Commission on Professional Credentialing, and as the International Director for the International Association of Fire Chiefs EMS Section.

1 Definition retrieved on September 14, 2015 from

Get Top-Notch Continuing Education – Right From Your Desk

CPSE offers a wide variety of convenient webinars. These webinars provide the opportunity to gain insight on several topics related to accreditation, credentialing, fire department management and much more. The best part is that you can enjoy these workshops from the convenience of your home or office.

Here is a list of the upcoming webinars available in the next few months:

  • Sept 30: Developing and Improving Organizational Professional Development Plans (Instructor: Chief Josh Waldo, CFO, CTO, FM)
  • Oct 20, 27, Nov 3, 17, 24: Advanced Technology for Community Risk (Instructor: Mike St. John)
  • Oct 20: Making the Grade: Performance Management on the Incident Scene (Instructor: Chief Tom Jenkins, CFO, CEMSO)
  • Nov 24: Motivation – The Secret Sauce Revealed (Instructor: Dr. Richard Gasaway, CFO)

For more details and registration, visit the CPSE website at

PFA Accreditation Highlights Commitment to Excellence

By Darin Atteberry, CPSE Board Member

I recently returned from a trip to Atlanta where I attended a board meeting of the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE). The organization is committed to assisting and improving fire and emergency service agencies and their personnel around the world. CPSE serves as the governing board for the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) and the Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC).

The purpose of my visit was twofold. First, I attended my first meeting as a member of the national CPSE board of directors. Second, I had the pleasure of joining a team from Poudre Fire Authority (PFA) as it received its CFAI accreditation.

PFA joins approximately 218 other fire departments as an accredited agency. They went through a multi-year process of self-assessment, strategic planning and community risk assessment; invited a peer assessment team to review their operations on-site; and implemented service improvements. Through the accreditation process PFA has reduced medical call response times, and found ways to improve coverage throughout their service area to keep pace with anticipated population growth.

PFA has earned a national reputation for excellence in fire rescue services. It was a very proud moment to see them recognized for all of their hard work. It also reaffirmed to me how fortunate our community is to have PFA. I am also eager to serve on the CPSE board. CPSE is a primary resource for the fire and emergency profession to continuously improve services resulting in a higher quality of life for communities. My involvement will allow me to learn from other organizations and bring best practices back to PFA and Fort Collins, while also sharing our knowledge to help others get better.

Performance excellence and continuous improvement are foundational values for both PFA and the City of Fort Collins. It’s why we engage in performance measurement, and why we’re pursuing the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Regularly evaluating the work we do and how we do it helps us identify opportunities for efficiency, innovation and exceptional customer service. My service on the CPSE board is consistent with that commitment.

Ultimately, I left the conference with a great sense of optimism and appreciation for what we have in Fort Collins. In all areas of the city organization, including our partnership with PFA, we are aligning around the goal of getting better. The premise of continuous improvement is that there are always ways we can improve the community services we provide, yet the recognition we receive from outside organizations confirms that we are moving in the right direction.

Darin Atteberry is the city manager of Ft. Collins, CO. He can be reached at 970-221-6505 or

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.

For course details and registration, go to:

September 28, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Cripple Creek, CO

October 07, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Henrico, VA

October 19, 2015
Data Analysis & Presentation
Brentwood, TN

October 20, 2015
Advanced Technology for Community Risk/SOC Studies

October 20, 2015
Making the Grade: Performance Management on the Incident Scene

October 21, 2015
CFAI Peer Assessor Workshop – October 2015

October 26, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Bowling Green, OH

October 26, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Minnetonka, MN

November 02, 2015
Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Savannah, GA

November 03, 2015
Data Analysis and Presentation
Anaheim, CA

November 09, 2015
BETA VERSION – 9th Edition: Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Lenexa, KS

November 12, 2015
Developing and Improving Organizational Professional Development Plans

November 24, 2015
Motivation: The Secret Sauce Revealed

December 02, 2015
NEW 9th Edition-Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Anaheim, CA

December 07, 2015
Nurturing Fire Service Leaders Through Mentoring
Burbank, CA

December 08, 2015
Credentialing-Pathway to Personal & Professional Excellence
Burbank, CA

December 14, 2015
NEW 9th Edition-Self Assessment and Community Risk/SOC
Auburndale, FL

December 15, 2015
Technical Competency – Writing to Achieve Designation