The Leawood Fire Department became an Internationally Accredited Agency on August 26th, 2015. This milestone came about after three years of hard work. The LFD joins a very select group of accredited departments as there are only now approximately 258 in the world with an even smaller number of approximately 73 holding both international accreditation and an ISO Rating of 1 (numbers current as of February 2019).
The LFD is required to submit an Annual Compliance Report and complete the entire accreditation process every five years.
According to CPSE, “Accreditation is a comprehensive self-assessment and evaluation model that enables organizations to examine past, current, and future service levels and internal performance and compare them to industry best practices. This process leads to improved service delivery.” (CPSE, 2013)
Accreditation involves three main parts:
Strategic Plan – The LFD has a five year strategic plan which was developed with input from both internal (LFD personnel) and external (community) representatives. The Strategic Plan defines the department’s mission, vision, values, and sets up goals and objectives to guide the department in growth and improvements during the planning period.
Standards of Cover (SOC) / Integrated Risk Management Plan – The SOC document is a written procedure which determines the distribution and concentration of fixed and mobile resources of an organization. The purpose for completing such a document is to assist the agency in ensuring a safe and effective response force for fire suppression, emergency medical services, and specialty response situations in addition to homeland security issues.
Self-Assessment Manual (SAM) – The SAM is a long and detailed document that requires the LFD to examine every aspect of what it takes to accomplish the mission in today’s world. It includes 10 performance evaluation categories containing 44 criteria and 253 detailed performance indicators, 82 of which are considered core competencies. The LFD SAM is 415 pages long.