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The original item was published from 8/19/2022 8:54:51 AM to 8/31/2022 5:05:00 PM.

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Bristol News

Posted on: August 19, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Bristol Tennessee Fire Department Earns Reaccreditation

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The Bristol Tennessee Fire Department has earned reaccreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), a prestigious distinction reserved for departments that adhere to industry best practices and strive for continual improvement.

Only 301 departments worldwide have gained CFAI accreditation, and only 12 percent of the U.S. population is currently served by a CFAI accredited fire department. The Bristol department is one of only eight CFAI accredited departments in the state of Tennessee.

“This is a tremendous achievement and proof positive that the Bristol Tennessee Fire Department is ranked among the best,” said City Manager Bill Sorah. “I am proud to join the entire City in celebrating this major milestone and applauding our firefighters for the excellent work they do to keep our community safe.”

The BTFD first gained accreditation in 2017 through the voluntary CFAI process, which assists departments in identifying strengths and weaknesses, defining a mission and objectives, and establishing a strategic improvement plan. A detailed report must be submitted each year to maintain accreditation, and the entire process must be repeated every five years to become reaccredited, said Assistant Fire Chief David McGlamery, who serves as the department’s accreditation manager.

 “This is a very detailed process that includes a thorough review of our practices and procedures, examining everything from how we maintain equipment to our emergency response times,” he said. “Accreditation is voluntary and requires a major commitment, but it also ensures that we remain focused each and every day on the safety of our firefighters and the delivery of exceptional service to the Bristol community.”

The work toward reaccreditation is a continuous process that culminates with a comprehensive review of documented department activities and a site visit from a peer review team. Final approval came Tuesday when the 11-member Commission unanimously voted to extend accreditation status for the Bristol Fire Department through 2027. The hearing was held in Denver, Colo. and attended by Mr. Sorah and Bristol Tennessee Mayor Mahlon Luttrell, as well as Fire Chief Mike Carrier, Assistant Chief McGlamery, Battalion Chief Alan Howard, Lt. Justin Mullins, and Lt. Matt Chase of the fire department.

Chief Carrier said the work does not end with the Commission’s vote, but rather begins a new accreditation cycle.

 “We’re grateful the Commission recognized our good work and validated our ongoing commitment to professionalism and high standards,” he said. “We take this process seriously and recognize that the accreditation manual is a living document that must guide our actions and decisions on a daily basis.”

Additional information about the CFAI accreditation process is available on the Center for Public Safety Excellence’s website at

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