ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
This week the Robins Fire and Emergency Services at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, received accredited agency status from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International at the Center for Public Safety Excellence Commission hearings in Denver, Colorado.
The Robins Fire department is now a part of a very distinct group.
According to CPSE, there are fewer than 400 agencies worldwide that have obtained CFAI accredited status.
“We are also proud to be the only fire department in Middle Georgia with this award,” said Forest Johnson, 78th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire chief. “This validates the department’s hard work to provide the best level of service to base customers. When people call 911 for help on base they are getting top notch service.
“Every second counts in an emergency. In this business, we see people when they’re probably having the worst day of their lives. So, it’s very important we are able to do what we do very efficiently and effectively.”
The Robins Fire department accreditation journey started in 2020. It typically takes a fire department 3-5 years to become accredited.
The accreditation model provides a comprehensive self-assessment and evaluation process that enables fire and emergency agencies to examine performance levels and compare them to industry best practices.
“We had to submit three years of data for review,” said Jeff Kinzer, 78th CES Fire captain and accreditation manager. “There were about a dozen categories for which we had to provide information about such as, response times, the number of hydrants on base or the kind and number of hand tools on each fire truck.”
The model examines 244 performance indicators that must be verified through an on-site peer review by CFAI subject-matter experts from around the nation.
“Our self-assessment documents were several hundred pages and the evaluators went through it page by page, verifying the information and making recommendations,” he said. “I know we have a good team here and it was worth going through the weeds, getting brutal honest feedback and coming out on top.”
Chief Johnson also welcomed being under a microscope.
“I wanted to be picked apart,” said Johnson. “It’s not personal and this is not a perfect world. If we are doing something wrong tell us and we will fix it. You don’t know what you don’t know and it’s their goal to make us better.”
There are more than 70 people who make up the Robins Fire Flight. They provide a wide range of support for services for structures, air craft, medical, technical rescue and hazardous materials incidents.
In order to maintain accreditation, the department will have to go through the process every five years.
“It’s a great thing with this accreditation,” said Marcus White, 78th CES Fire Public Information officer. “This will reassure our base populace and instill a sense of confidence we are capable and ready to respond to emergencies.”