Fire Departments Gear Up For CPSE Accreditation

It’s not about inputs and outputs. It’s about outcomes.

Whenever I fly to Los Angeles, especially after being cooped up in Kansas City after one foot of snowfall, I eagerly anticipate the warm rays of California. On this trip, however, as I made my way to the California Fire Rescue Accreditation Credentialing Consortium (CFRACC for those that want another acronym in their lives), I was met with 3 days of consistent rain! For fire departments in the region where rain is a rarity, this poses a problem. “No one knows how to drive in the rain!” laments one officer. I’m informed that landslides along the steep hills also cause major problems. Smart departments who saw the storm coming days in advance, however, prepared for the worst - California is full of smart departments.

California’s smartest fire departments, however, were all present for CFRACC, a networking event to assist departments through CPSE accreditation. Accreditation is a process of cultural change for many departments. It’s about turning a group of well-intentioned emergency responders into a strategic, organized, and performance-driven force for emergency prevention, protection, and response. As one voracious Chief Tommy Thompson, from Camp Pendleton, CA Fire states - “It’s not about inputs and outputs. It’s about outcomes.” For departments who eat, sleep and breathe accreditation, they have seen the outcomes it produces such as improved data quality, faster response times, smarter response planning, and improved quality of service. It’s the difference between assuming your department is making a difference and knowing you’re truly protecting the lives and property of their community.

CPSE isn’t a process you do once and then put it on a shelf. It is a continuous process of improvement.
— Division Chief Alan Long of Anaheim, CA

That is why mySidewalk chose early on to study the CPSE model and help provide industry-leading analytics to a wider base of departments. Whether you’re deep into accreditation and have developed your own custom data processes or are brand new and looking for best practices, mySidewalk has made it a business to help automate that work month after month in our Performance Dashboard. As Division Chief Alan Long of Anaheim, CA reminds us, “CPSE isn’t a process you do once and then put it on a shelf. It is a continuous process of improvement.” Our dashboards offer an engaging way to not only track performance, but also sell the story of your fire department to key stakeholders and local leadership to ensure resources are funneling the right way.

Hartford firefighters use technology to figure out what neighborhoods get the most fire calls.

Our newest solution, the Community Risk Assessment, which was recently highlighted on local news in Hartford, CT thanks to the incredible work of Chief Reggie Freeman, was also demoed at CFRACC. This assessment combines dozens of national datasets with local fire department data to better understand the local conditions of areas experiencing high fire and EMS call volume. For those who have collected data from the Census, it can be a long and arduous process. mySidewalk unlocks the value of public datasets alongside fire data and transforms it into actionable intelligence. As our partners in Glendale, CA shared with us, “This is the future.”

mySidewalk will be attending CPSE’s Excellence Conference in March. I have the privilege to co-present on our Community Risk Assessment with our very first partner who helped shape our company’s direction, Deputy Fire Chief Sal Scarpa with Shawnee, KS. Our presentation is called “CRR for the Modern Fire Department.” We look forward to seeing all our partners and meeting new departments looking for not just inputs and outputs, but outcomes.

-Brandon Gumm, Solutions Architect at mySidewalk