The Maryville Fire Department could soon join only two other departments in the State of Tennessee in receiving a recommendation for national accreditation by the Center of Public Safety Excellence. The department has been recommended by a peer review. Final approval on the accreditation will be decided in February.
The accreditation process began two years ago and consisted of an arduous series of steps. Approximately 270 performance indicators were required, and the department had to provide documentation for each and evaluate their performance for each. In addition, MFD developed “standards of cover” which identifies possible hazards and how the department would respond to each of those areas. A strategic plan was also required as part of the package.
When completed, the last step was assessment by a team from the Center of Public Safety Excellence. The assessors are fire professionals who are trained to evaluate fire departments who have finished the required paperwork and self evaluation. The team came from four states other than Tennessee and were in Maryville six days.
On Thursday, Jan. 10, the assessors reviewed their findings in front of a large group and recommended that the Maryville Fire Department be an accredited fire department and join approximately only 120 others in the United States.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment not only for all the firefighters, but for the entire city. We couldn’t have done this without the support of the city council, city manager, and the city staff,” Chief Ed Mitchell said. “This accreditation shows that we care about the safety of our firefighters, our community, and that in the end, we, as an organization, want to be held accountable for standards of excellence.”