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The Central Jackson County Fire Protection District is one of only four agencies in Missouri, two agencies in the Kansas City metro region, and 150 agencies in the world to be accredited. This is an excellent achievement and an obvious commitment to the community. The accomplishment of the accreditation process brings accountability of CJCFPD to the community to provide the best service possible. CJCFPD was awarded its accreditation in August 2008 at the Fire Rescue International Conference in Denver, Colorado.

Accreditation programs have been around for some time. Hospitals, schools and even police departments have accreditation programs; however, accreditation is a fairly new topic in fire service. The positive result of the accreditation process establishes additional credibility to an organization. Taxpayers, rightfully, want the best public services for their money and with that, government agencies have been asked to become more transparent and accountable to the public. To answer that, leaders within the International Fire Chiefs Association (IAFC) met with the International City-County Management Association (ICCMA) to create an entity charged with providing a continuous improvement model for the fire service. As a result of the meeting between the IAFC and the ICCMA the Commission on Fire Accreditation International was created.

In an effort to better understand and serve our constituents, CJCFPD conducted a citizendriven strategic planning process. This citizen-driven process allowed members from the community to be a part of the planning. Allowing such involvement in a strategic planning process gives CJCFPD insight into what citizens feel are important aspects for their fire service agency.

Through the accreditation process the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District identified areas needing enhancement and has begun implementing improvement plans. Several projects are beginning to take place that were identified through the accreditation process. With the passage of the sales tax and bond such projects include the addition of personnel in order to meet staffing concerns for safety, effectiveness and efficiency. In addition, facilities have been purchased for a training center to meet the ever-increasing demand for trained firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

These are two examples of projects, which resulted from a successful accreditation process geared toward providing the best service possible to the public. The accreditation process is an excellent opportunity for CJCFPD to remain efficient with taxpayer dollars during these difficult economic times. Through continuous improvement planning the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District will remain in the forefront of providing the best emergency services to the community.