OFD Accreditation & ISO Classification

The Orlando Fire Department is the only fire department in the state to have ISO 1 classification, International Fire Accreditation, Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) certification and ACE accreditation (911/Communications Center).

OFD Rated ISO 1 for 10th Year in a Row

Orlando Fire Department is proud to announce its ranking as an ISO Class 1 for the 10th year in a row.

The Orlando Fire Department earned one of the highest possible recognitions by receiving a Class 1 Public Protection Classification. This rating places the Orlando Fire Department in the top 1% (.9%) of the nearly 30,000 fire departments in the United States. 

City residents, business owners and visitors to Orlando can count on first-class fire protection because of our quick response to community needs and a commitment to preserving life, property and the environment. This is all possible by the dedication of our men and women of Orlando Fire and the investment in state-of-the-art training, tools and technology.

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) Public Protection Classification is used by the insurance industry in determining insurance premiums for properties within the community.

The ISO uses the Public Protection Classification to gauge the ability of a local fire department to respond to fires.  A community's public fire protection information is collected and analyzed by ISO using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule. A Classification of 1 to 10 is then assigned based on the results of the survey. Class 1 is the highest rating, and Class 10 is an indication of no fire protection.

OFD Accreditation

The Orlando Fire Department received international accreditation on August 15, 2013. Fire service accreditation is administered by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), through the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE), and requires an embedded culture of quality throughout an organization. Maintaining accreditation is a significant undertaking and requires the combined best efforts of all members of the department. Accreditation necessitates the development and maintenance of several key documents including a Strategic Plan, Self-Assessment Manual (SAM) and a Standards of Cover (SOC) and Community Risk Assessment.

Accreditation is a comprehensive assessment and evaluation model for fire and emergency service organizations. The accreditation process helps to determine community risks and fire safety needs, evaluates the performance of an agency and provides a method for continuous improvement. The accreditation and certification bodies change requirements over time requiring accredited agencies to continue to evolve and improve.

The Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) is governed by an 11-member commission representing a cross-section of the fire service industry, including fire departments, city and county management, code councils, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the International Association of Firefighters. The full Commission meets bi-annually to review all agencies applying for accreditation or reaccreditation status.

Within the accreditation model are ten categories that fire agencies use as the basis to benchmark and evaluate performance. These categories are:

  • Governance and Administration
  • Assessment and Planning
  • Goals and Objectives
  • Financial Resources
  • Programs
  • Physical Resources
  • Human Resources
  • Training and Competency
  • Essential Resources
  • External Systems Relations

The Accreditation assist OFD in:

  • Conducting a comprehensive assessment and identifying areas where we could improve was a responsible course of action, and we felt it was the right thing to do. Having a detailed evaluation for our use provides a basis for good decision making.
  • Reassuring the citizens we serve and ultimately protect their interest and investment in the City of Orlando.
  • Maintaining our ISO 1 rating.
  • Providing an internal and external review of the services we provide to the community.
  • Promoting excellence in our organization is an initiative that both management and labor are fully committed to. Accreditation was a recognized framework to guide this endeavor.
  • Assuring our stakeholders that we are doing a good job. Stakeholders in our organization include the citizens we serve, businesses, neighboring agencies and others.
  • Showcasing our capabilities and quality. Assessments of our agency have the transparency of external peer review.
  • Fostering pride within our organization.
  • Expanding the Department’s organizational knowledge including its business operations.
  • Providing a long-lasting shared knowledge of the organization and provides a foundation for sound succession management.
  • Bringing our membership together to build a better organization.
  • Determining the Department’s strengths, weaknesses, limitations and opportunities for improved service.
  • Providing a method to analyze the services provided by OFD and how best to deliver those services.

While ISO ratings are somewhat limited in their application because they are related mostly to firefighting operations, CFAI accreditation takes a far broader look at an organization.  As noted in the ISO’s Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, “The Schedule is a fire insurance rating tool and is not intended to analyze all aspects of a comprehensive public fire protection program. It should not be used for purposes other than insurance rating.”

In September 2012, the Orlando Fire Department began pursuit of international accreditation by the Center for Public Safety Excellence. By October 2012, OFD had assembled a diverse team of about 30 employees tasked with addressing the self-assessment requirements of the accreditation process.

In January 2013, the City Council adopted both the 2013-2017 OFD Strategic Plan and the Standards of Cover and Community Risk Assessment. The Self-Assessment Manual was completed in February 2013. By all accounts, the Self-Assessment Manual produced by this team was of exceptional quality and is serving the department well.

Self-Assessment is a discovery process that provides the ability to evaluate programs and activities in relation to improving the quality of the organization by increasing the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of the Department. There are 43 specific criteria used to sub-categorize the 258 performance indicators within the ten measured categories. There are 82 core competencies within the total 258 Performance Indicators, and they must be met without exception to achieve accreditation.

After completing all required steps and providing all required documentation, including the 2013-2017 Strategic Plan, 2013 Standards of Cover and 2013 Self-assessment Manual to the Commission, the OFD was elevated to Candidate Agency Status by the CFAI in February 2013.

During the week of April 28, 2013, a three-member CFAI Peer Assessment Team was on site to evaluate the Department. On May 2, 2013, the Peer Assessment Team announced that OFD would be recommended for international accreditation. After a unanimous vote of approval by the full commission during a public hearing, in Chicago on August 15, 2013, OFD became the largest municipality within Orange County to achieve international accreditation. OFD is currently one of 38 departments worldwide to have both international accreditation and an ISO PPC rating of 1.