Columbus Fire & Rescue proves performance to keep accreditation

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – There are nearly 28,000 fire departments in the United States, but only around 400 are accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International.

One of those is Columbus Fire and Rescue.

This week the department is proving its performance to keep that accreditation up to date.

A team from the Center for Public Service Excellence is reviewing reports, observing performance, studying their strategic plan, identifying gaps, and making a plan for improvements.

This process occurs every five years and is crucial for accessing grants and training for firefighters.

“Accreditation is not our only goal. It’s the process of self-improvement that is very important. Without the Center for Public Safety Excellence sending these teams here, it would be very easy to fall back and sit on our haunches and look at what we’ve accomplished. But, when you’ve got that pressure on you to perform and to prove that you perform, you can only be better,” said Fire Chief Duane Hughes.

“Only 12% of the country is protected by an accredited fire department. And it really shows that you’re meeting the industry’s best practices, and recognizing national standards,” said Nick Christensen, Regional Chief of Training Navy Region Southwest.

Gulfport Fire Department is the only other accredited department in Mississippi.

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Categories: Local News, State News