Accredited Agency status was conferred on the Park Ridge Fire Department by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) on August 24,2001. CFAI is the agency responsible for national fire service accreditation. This status culminated over two years of efforts by the Department towards this goal.
The accreditation process is conducted under the direction of the CFAI, a joint venture between the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the International City Management Association. This voluntary process is designed to assist fire and emergency service agencies throughout the world in achieving excellence through self-assessment and accreditation in order to provide continuous quality improvement and enhancement of service delivery to the community.
The process for Park Ridge began in 1999. In March 2001, a four-member CFAI assessment team conducted a five-day site visit and subsequently recommended the department to the Commission for "accredited" status. Approval was granted by the full Commission at their annual meeting in August of 2001. The prestigious plaque is on display at the fire stations, signifying the Department's accreditation status.
The Department's second accreditation came after a site visit in June of 2006 verified that the department met and was in compliance with ten major categories comprised of 45 criteria and 230 individual performance indicators.
The Park Ridge Fire Department was the fourth department in Illinois to achieve accreditation status a second time. As of 2006, there were only 23 departments world wide that have achieved second term accredited agency status.