Accreditation & ISO
The Newport News Fire Department received its first accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) in 2008 and was re-accredited through CFAI in 2013. The accreditation process is a continuous improvement process that fire departments voluntarily under take as a process to achieve organizational excellence according to industry best practices. In order to receive accreditation, the department created a Strategic Plan, a Standards of Cover demonstrating how the department deploys resources, and demonstrate performance according to 253 performance indicators. Third party assessors then visited the department to validate the documentation and performance. Annually a Compliance Report is submitted to CFAI to show the department is continuing to meet performance objectives as well as addressing weaknesses that may have been identified by the outside assessors.
In 2014 the Newport News Fire Department participated in an evaluation by the Insurance Services Organization (ISO), which is typically conducted every 10 years. In 2015 the department was awarded a Class 1 designation by ISO which is the highest grade a fire department can receive. ISO evaluates and grades municipal fire departments throughout the country on their ability to provide fire protection within their community. ISO uses what is known as the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) to evaluate the department’s station locations, training of personnel, apparatus and equipment, the community’s water supply and the 911 call center. Once the evaluation is complete, the department and the community are awarded a class rating between 1 and 10. A Class 1 generally indicates that the department and community demonstrated superior performance in most categories and a Class 10 generally indicates the department did not meet the minimal requirements set forth by ISO. The class ratings awarded by ISO are used by insurance companies to establish insurance premium rates for residential and commercial properties within the community. A low ISO rating is generally favorable for lower insurance premiums.
The Newport News Fire Department is one of less 40 fire departments nationwide to hold both International Accreditation and a Class 1 ISO rating.