Each week, the Fort Bragg fire station responds to more than 346 calls from the local community --— that is around 18,000 calls a year.
With each call, they perform to the highest standards and present themselves professionally. Because of this, the fire station is now recognized on an international scale.
With more than 79,000 international fire stations, the Fort Bragg station might not seem to stand out in comparison. However, this fire station is one of only about 185 fire stations worldwide to receive an international fire accreditation.
“It’s definitely an honor to have achieved it,” said Chief Mark Melvin, Fort Bragg fire chief. “I think (this certification) will make us better for the future, and the men and women of Fort Bragg will receive better service because of it.”
Hayley Ruzzin, a resident of Fort Bragg, has only lived on the installation for two months, but after hearing of the accomplishments from the fire station, she said that she felt safer knowing the emergency responders are very reliable and knowledgeable in their craft.
In the mid-1980s, the idea for an international accreditation for fire and emergency service agencies began as a way to set the standard across the board and promote quality performance. The Commission on Fire Accreditation International is comprised of fire and emergency volunteers, including two personnel from Fort Bragg’s fire station, who travel to different locations training and certifying those who have the potential to become accredited.
“A lot of people may think they’re doing the right things, but they don’t always do it right,” said Melvin. “We found things that made us better by going through this whole process.”
The certification process usually extends over two years with multiple policies and procedures being perfected before a station can even be examined by the CFAI. Once a station passes all the standards and guidelines, the volunteer board members of the CFAI vote whether or not to give them an accreditation.
The Fort Bragg fire station received their accreditation in August and will have to maintain the standard in order to retain it. They will be re-examined in five years to determine if they can continue to have their certification.