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Firetrucks lined up outside the Winter Park Fire-Rescue station.

ISO/Agency Accreditation/Professional Credentialing

Insurance Service Office (ISO)

The Insurance Service Office, ISO, assess communities across the country on their ability to protect property from loss by fire. Since the early 1970’s the ISO has applied its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) to each community to rate them for their ability to protect insured loss. The FSRS results in each community receiving a Public Protection Classification (PPC), which in turn is used by insurers to rate the risk of loss and those premiums paid by the property owners.

The PPC for fire protection is a 1-10 point scale with one representing the highest or best with 10 reflecting an area with little or no fire protection. Those areas of a community evaluated in the FSRS are water supply, emergency communications (911), and the fire department itself. Specifically, within the fire department areas evaluated include daily firefighter staffing, fire apparatus, training, firefighting equipment, and pre-fire planning. Each specific area of the fire department’s operation is rated against a schedule of anticipated performance, and then against the community’s risk for fire. This overall assessment results in a score that is applied to the PPC. The ISO evaluates the fire protection of more than 35,000 communities in America; less than 100 of these communities currently have attained the highest PPC of 1.

Winter Park Fire-Rescue Department, WPFD, received an on-site examination from the ISO in December 2013. At that time, the community improved from the previous Class 2 rating to Class 1. The agency continues to work to maintain this level of fire protection through a comprehensive training program for all firefighters and a robust pre-fire planning program that supports updated fire inspections and response plans for each commercial and multi-family building in the city. Property owners are encouraged to check with their insurer to see if they use the ISO Public Protection Classification rating system and if the ISO Class 1 rating for Winter Park could save them dollars on their premiums. A letter from the Fire Chief confirming the city’s PPC rating of Class 1 is available for download.

More information on the ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule at: Fire Suppression Rating Schedule Overview

Fire Service Accreditation:

WPFD utilizes the management model provided by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International as the agency’s operational business plan. This comprehensive plan requires the application of more than 250 key performance indicators and formal processes, including the management of a community-driven strategic plan and the continued use of a community risk assessment model.

Possibly the most crucial portion of the CFAI accreditation model is the operational Standard of Cover (SOC). The community’s adopted SOC is an agreement of the anticipated levels of service for fire, EMS, technical rescues, and hazardous materials responses. The performance benchmarks established in the SOC create an expected answer for both time and performance outcomes for different components of each emergency.

The SOC demands the agency report quarterly on the following critical components of every response;
• Alarm Handling Time (9-1-1 Center)
• Firefighter Turn-Out Time
• Individual Company Response Time
• The arrival of First Assigned Company
• The arrival of Dispatched Effective Response Force

Annual performance measurements are required on each of the agency’s programs. These annual reports help to establish the agency’s yearly budget request. Also considered in this program performance review are elements of performance and those goals and objectives defined for the coming year.

WPFD first became recognized as an Accredited Agency with CFAI in August 2001. Because the process requires continuous improvement to maintain accredited status, each agency must complete an Annual Compliance Report, which is then reviewed and approved by the accrediting Commission. Every five years, the agency is revisited by a trained Peer Review team who spends up to four days on-site verifying and validating Winter Park is maintaining the highest standards. The Commission on Fire Accreditation reviews the Peer Team’s report and makes all final decisions on agency accreditation.
More information on the Commission on Fire Accreditation International can be found at publicsafetyexcellence.org

Ambulance Service Accreditation:

In January 1997, WPFD assumed responsibility for patient transport services for all emergency responses. After the establishment of the city’s dedicated medical director, Dr. Todd Husty, it was decided to pursue industry best practice through application for accreditation with the Commission for the Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS).

Annually, Winter Park Fire Rescue responds to more than 3,500 calls for medical services. Of these calls, our Rescue units transport 2500 of those individuals to local hospitals. Knowing that a majority of our work deals with this vital part of our service, it was determined to adopt the management processes found within the accreditation model used by CAAS.

After more than two years of document and policy preparation, Winter Park was evaluated by physicians and medical directors with CAAS and found to comply with all performance measurements. CAAS accreditation is renewed every three years through compliance reporting and on-site verification visits. Winter Park Fire Rescue is excited to be one of only two fire service agencies in Florida with both CFAI and CAAS accreditations.
More information on the CAAS accreditation process can be found at CAAS Accreditation

Winter Park Fire Rescue is not only committed to the highest possible level of performance for our agency. We are personally committed to ensuring our leadership team is well trained and meets the industry best practice for personal professional credentialing.

Professional Credentialing:

Many of our chief officers, captains, and lieutenants, hold credentials in their capacities through the Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC). The process of professional credentialing assures each leader in the organization has challenged themselves to meet CPC’s industry standards for training, education, experience, professional contributions, and community involvement for today’s fire officer.

Each officer is expected to apply for their credentials, be it Fire Officer, Chief Training Officer, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Fire Marshal, or Chief Fire Officer. Once credentialed, the officer maintains their status through continued improvement and contributions to the agency and the fire service.

Many of our officers contribute to the further development of the fire service on both the local and national stage presenting at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) and Fire-Rescue International (FRI), and the Excellence Conference (CPSE) regularly. Winter Park’s leadership team is often requested to serve as assessors, mentors, and evaluators for local and regional promotional exercises.

More information on the CPC Professional Credentialing process can be found at CPC Professional Credentialing