Mission - Washington Township Fire Department provides emergency services along with prevention and education to ensure the safety and security of the community we serve. Read the Fire Department's Strategic Plan.
Vision – To provide the highest quality, most effective, safe and compassionate emergency services in the region.
The Washington Township Fire Department has become the first fire department in the Miami Valley to achieve accreditation through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). The professional distinction encompasses all aspects of department operations. Washington Township is one of two fire departments in southwest Ohio and six in the state to receive such recognition. "This is an elite rating that represents the highest standards of excellence," said Trustee President Joyce Young. "Our fire department staff, past and present, has worked together for many years to bring township services to this point of excellence." The Washington Township Board of Trustees brought together community leaders, officials, and members of the fire department staff for a brief recognition ceremony at their Monday, August 18, meeting. Former Fire Chief Ken Parks, who helped initiate the accreditation process, returned for the ceremony which included a presentation of plaques for each of the township's five fire stations.
Accreditation by CFAI culminates a rigorous five-year process that included the mastery of 255 performance indicators in ten core categories. Each was validated and verified by the commission. "We found Washington Township Fire to be a top-notch group with a lot of phenomenal people. There is a high level of respect for Washington Township and what the fire service does in this community," said Rick Black, CFAI program manager and leader of the township's site visit team. The commission provides a system for local governments to assess their community's needs and a method for fire departments to evaluate their performance. "This has been a useful process for the township and its citizens," said Township Administrator Jesse Lightle. "We want our services to be the best and the accreditation process has helped us accomplish that. It's forced us to take a view of how we perform and compare it to a recognized national standard."
Requisites for accreditation include a Strategic Plan that sets forth the fire department's vision and mission, identifies departmental values, and outlines a series of measurable goals and objectives for service delivery. Members of the Strategic Plan Committee included fire department personnel and elected officials from the city and township, plus communinty leaders representing business, health care, public education and law. Other requisites include:
"Completing these components has helped us improve our services because we have a better understanding of our community. This helps us make sure we're putting our resources where the community feels it is important," said Fire Chief Bill Gaul. "An even more important aspect to the process is implementing plans for the future. The self assessment component has launched us in a new direction that will enhance the services our community receives in the future."
The accreditation process, overseen by Deputy Chief Jim Neidhard, began in February 2003 when the township hosted two trainings provided by the CFAI. The department received a site visit by a panel of assessors in early 2007 and was given a "majority compliance" rating in May 2007. Since then, the department has worked to complete two final performance indiciators. The Washington Township Fire Department, which serves Centerville/Washington Township, protects more personal property than any department in Montgomery County except Dayton. The department includes about 177 employees, including full time, part time and part-paid volunteers. Meetings of the Strategic Plan Committee were facilitated by Charles Wiltrout, director of the Montgomery County Fire and EMS Alliance. CFAI, created in 1996 by international fire and city/county manager organizations, is the only accrediting agency for both emergency medical and fire fighting. A total of 127 fire departments have earned the accreditation.
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