RED OAK — Red Oak firefighters were recognized the high standard excellence they maintain during the Red Oak City Council meeting on Tuesday. Secretary and Treasurer of the Texas Fire Chiefs' Association Victor Conley presented the department with the Recognized Best Practice designation.
“It a tremendous honor when Chief Conley presented the validation and designation plaque to us. I’m very happy for not only the guys in the fire department and for the city but for our citizens,” Red Oak Fire Chief Eric Thompson said. “The number one reason why we did this is to show the citizens and the community that we are working very hard every single day to go above and beyond for them.”
According to the Texas Fire Chiefs Association Best Practices website, the best practices program provides a pathway for a fire department to push its level of service to a standard of excellence that is validated by independent experts. This designation will demonstrate to customers of these organizations that their fire department is among the very best in the Texas fire service. The areas evaluated include administration and organization, emergency medical service training, special operations, records and information management, fire operations, fire prevention, risk reduction, community outreach response analysis, communications, safety and health, resources management and professional standards and conduct.
“This voluntary process required Red Oak to conduct a critical self-review of the department's policies, procedures, facilities, and operations. The department began the lengthy process to become a recognized fire department in the best practices program by preparing proofs of compliance for each of the Program's areas of concentration,” Thompson said. “Upon completion of an internal review, an outside audit and review were requested. The final on-site reviews were conducted by trained fire chiefs and assistant fire chiefs from other areas of the state. The result of this review was then sent to the Texas Fire Chiefs Best Practices Recognition Board for final analysis and decision to award recognized status.”
Thompson added that there are 117 different areas that a fire department is graded on. Some of the standards that are part of the recognition program are from such regulatory agencies as the National Fire Protection Association, Insurance Services Office and the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. The work involved with receiving this designation took place over the past two years.
The Red Oak Fire Department became only the sixth department in the state of Texas to receive the validation and designation of Recognized Best Practices Fire Department from the Texas Fire Chiefs Association Best Practices Recognition Program.
Now that Red Oak has earned this designation they will have to work each year to maintain it.
“That is one thing that is great about the program you just don’t get it (accreditation) and walk away from it, and it stays on the shelf. It is a continuous evaluation we have to complete annual reports and show that we are doing continuous efforts to improving. The community will give us recommendations from time to time. We have to show them that we complete these recommendations as we move forward,” Thompson said. “We are always going to look at different areas to improve our service and ourselves internally. Right now we are going to be very grateful for the award that we just received, and we are going to continue to focus on our daily performance and internal programs to make sure that we are doing our best for the community.”
For more information about the Red Oak, Fire Department go to its website at www.redoakfirerescue.com.
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