Video: Columbus Fire Reaches Goal; City Gets Better Bond Rating

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — It’s official, the Columbus Fire Department has achieved what few others in the nation have done.

The National Fire Accreditation Board (see complete release below) voted today to grant the department national accreditation. The decision comes after years of work by local firefighters to meet dozens of national standards and a week-long review by an outside team last fall.

Columbus is the only department in the state and one of less than 200 out of more than 10,000 in the country to achieve national accreditation.

It wasn’t the only good news for the city Tuesday.

Despite the area’s overall low-household incomes, good financial management is paying off for Columbus taxpayers.

Standard and Poor’s, one of the nation’s three top financial rating services, has raised the city’s financial bond rating from ‘A’ to ‘A+” for debt the city issues in the future.

The agency said the city’s growing reserves and relatively low debt payments as reasons for the improved rating.

Higher ratings usually translate into lower interest rates on debt.  That’ll mean lower long-term interest costs to taxpayers.


Columbus Fire & Rescue in Columbus, MS has received Accredited Agency status with the commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) for meeting the criteria established through the CFAI’s voluntary self-assessment and accreditation program. Columbus Fire & Rescue is one of less than 200 agencies to achieve Internationally Accredited Agency status with the CFAI and the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc. (CPSE)

Columbus Fire & Rescue (CFR) is the first department in the state of MS to achieve this honor. It is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of its staff and members, city administration, and high level of command support. This puts CFR in the top 1% of all fire departments in the country to prove capabilities and willingness to strive for continual improvement.

CFAI is dedicated to assisting the fire and emergency service agencies throughout the world in achieving excellence through self-assessment and accreditation in order to provide continuous quality improvement and the enhancement of service delivery to their communities. 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.

Fire Chief Kenneth Moore stated that the agency’s achievement of Accredited Agency Status “demonstrates the commitment of the agency to provide the highest quality of service to our community.” Chief Moore also said, “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 the quality of the services we provided.”

Mayor Robert E. Smith, Jr. made the following statement regarding Columbus Fire & Rescue’s achievement, “It’s an outstanding accomplishment for Columbus Fire & Rescue, and the City of Columbus. It shows that the Mayor and City Council are dedicated to providing the best public safety to the citizens of Columbus. As Mayor, I am committed to continue to support the Department’s Strategic Plan and the accreditation process. We will continue to improve, promote, and provide public safety to our citizens and we recognize this is a continual improvement process.”

Categories: Local News

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