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Vandenberg Fire receives international accreditation

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Vandenberg Fire was a recent recipient of the renowned Commission on Fire Accreditation International. Less than 100 fire departments world-wide have been recognized with this accreditation. Pictured from Vandenberg Fire, from left to right, is Master Sgt. Juan Valle, Senior Master Sgt. Joe Orona,Traci Betty, Tech. Sgt. Garrick Hasty, Scott Balatgek and Mark Farias.(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Steve Bauer)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Vandenberg Fire was a recent recipient of the renowned Commission on Fire Accreditation International. Less than 100 fire departments world-wide have been recognized with this accreditation. Pictured from Vandenberg Fire, from left to right, is Master Sgt. Juan Valle, Senior Master Sgt. Joe Orona,Traci Betty, Tech. Sgt. Garrick Hasty, Scott Balatgek and Mark Farias.(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Steve Bauer)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc., recently awarded Vandenberg Fire with the renowned Commission on Fire Accreditation International in September.

"Earning the CFAI has been a huge accomplishment for Vandenberg Fire," said Vandenberg Fire Chief Mark Farias. "This CFAI is open to fire departments around the world, however less than 100 departments world-wide have achieved the accreditation. We are honored to be one of the few."

As defined by the CPSE, the CFAI is an accreditation program committed to assisting and improving fire and emergency service agencies around the world in achieving organizational and professional excellence through its strategic self-assessment model and accreditation process to provide continuous quality improvement and enhancement of service delivery to the community and the world at large.

Just to apply for the program, the fire department had to prove to the CPSE's board of directors that they were suitable candidates. To put them in the running, Vandenberg Fire presented the department's strategic plans to the board of directors.

Included in the plans were documents outlining governance and administration; goals and objectives; compliance and planning; financial planning; training programs; human resources development; and internal and external system relationships.

"We were able to achieve the accreditation because of our team's ambition to be the best fire department in the Department of Defense," Chief Farias said. "We have always set bold goals for the department and this was one of them."

Even though Vandenberg Fire has been recognized on an international level, the department continues to work toward even larger goals.

"We are humbled and honored to be accredited, but the place we are heading to isn't on the map yet," Chief Farias said.