The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Fire Department Accreditation

Reference Number: MTAS-294
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: November 08, 2016
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Fire department accreditation is a growing trend across the nation with 217 fire departments as of August 2015 having received accreditation, including four in Tennessee: Alcoa, Brentwood, Kingsport, and Maryville.

Accreditation is a way to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of a fire department by determining community risks and fire safety needs, accurately evaluating the organization’s performance againts a consensus standard of excellence, and providing a method for continuous improvement. Measuring professionalism and service delivery of fire and emergency services is a new concept for most cities.

Every day, fire chiefs, city managers and local elected officials make critical decisions about fire protection and emergency medical services for their communities. Now more than ever, there is constant pressure to do more with less. Most city managers are hard-pressed to justify increasing expenditures unless they can be attributed directly to improved or expanded service delivery. There are a number of methods and a variety of techniques to measure fire service performance. Everyone agrees that the process should allow citizens, elected and appointed officials, and fire service personnel to see the success.