Fire and rescue earns international accreditation status

Published 8:29 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Suffolk Department of Fire & Rescue recentlys received Accredited Agency status with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International for meeting the criteria established through the group’s voluntary self-assessment and accreditation program.  

Suffolk Fire & Rescue is one of more than 300 agencies to achieve Internationally Accredited Agency status with the CFAI and the Center for Public Safety Excellence Inc.

In Hampton Roads, Suffolk Fire & Rescue joins the Newport News, Hampton, and Virginia Beach fire departments as being internationally accredited.  


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CFAI is dedicated to assisting the fire and emergency service agencies throughout the world in achieving excellence through self-assessment and accreditation to provide continuous quality improvement and the enhancement of service delivery to their communities, the department said in a news release. The CFAI process is voluntary and provides an agency 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.

“The agency’s achievement of accredited agency status demonstrates the commitment of the agency to provide the highest quality of service to our community,” Suffolk Fire Chief Michael Barakey said in the release. “We have also 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 provide to the citizens of Suffolk.” 

Suffolk Fire and Rescue dedicated four years to conducting a systematic and community-based review of the departments, bureaus and programs to identify best practices and areas to improve services, all while utilizing data to make decisions on improving performance, according to the release. Being accredited is just the beginning of maintaining a robust strategic business plan, community risk assessment and standards of cover, while routinely assessing all the programs and bureaus within the Suffolk Department of Fire and Rescue.  

Fire and Rescue has 316 dedicated members serving the community and citizens with the vision of continuous improvement.