Amarillo Fire Department Seeking National Accreditation

The Amarillo Fire Department could soon be nationally accredited.

They're currently going through a 2-year internal review process by the center for public safety excellence.

We're told if they pass, it would make them the only department in the Texas Panhandle with the title.

Their mission is to protect and serve, but for the next few year's, AFD is working to be more, nationally.

"We started the process back in July of last year when Interim City Manager Terry Childers was here and was highly promoting that each of the departments in the city, seek accreditation," says Mark Lusk, Deputy Chief of the AFD, "we took that to heart, we thought it was very important."

The accreditation process officially started last November with the Center for Public Safety Excellence. According to their website, CPSE provides the only accreditation program for fire service organizations in the world.

"This will essentially hold us to what would be a considered national standard for any fire department," says Jeff Greenlee, Amarillo Fire Chief, "and so when we're done it will assure the citizens, council and in our own membership that we are a meeting the standard across the board."

We're told the process causes the department to self-reflect regarding whether they're complying with all laws and meeting national standards, and so far they're learning and working out the kinks, with a price.

"The fact that we are finding some flaws in the systems that we use, some ways we can improve the department in a 30 million dollar budget," adds Lusk, "$18,000 to prove that you're actually delivering a quality product to the citizens is well worth it."

Lusk also tells us the review was funded in their operation budget so the money is coming from citizens, and they're hoping this will turn around and improve what they do for them.

If AFD gets the national title, they'll have to go through the accreditation process every 5 years. This is to make sure they're meeting their goals and continually improving.

This current process is expected to end next August.

We're told this is the first time in AFD's history since they've gone for this accreditation.

The city's health department is also going through the process.

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