12 Days of COS: #8 Colorado Springs Fire Department continues to improve the quality of services

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.- The Colorado Springs Fire Department achieved several objectives in its continued efforts to improve the outcome of calls for service and events in 2018. Here are three of the many highlights from the CSFD in 2018.

Community Response Team Expansion

The Community Response Team (CRT) is a multi-agency collaboration of Colorado Springs fire and police departments and Aspen Pointe, treated 1,459 patients experiencing a mental health crisis and directed them into the appropriate type of care in 2018.  Adding an additional low acuity car to the CRT fleet helps free up heavy apparatus for higher acuity calls and reducing the number of patients unnecessarily transported to an emergency department. 

The program was launched through the CSFD Division of Community and Public Health in December of 2014 with one team. The success of this first team led to the addition of the second unit in July of 2015.  A third team was activated Sept. 18, 2018, to respond to calls during the “swing shift” Monday – Thursday, 2 p.m. to midnight, with funding made possible through the Colorado Springs Health Foundation. Since its inception in September, the swing shift team has run 161 alarms through November, which is on pace with the other two units in service to date.  

Fire stations to receive new apparatus

The fire department purchased and accepted six heavy apparatus in 2018. One ladder truck and two engines are in now in service at Fire Stations 8, 9 and 7 respectively. Three fire engines were accepted last week and will be put into service soon at Fire Stations 4, 6 and 8.  The new apparatus allows crews to remain in service without the day-to-day safety concerns of aging apparatus and lowers the chance of apparatus arriving at an emergency scene with potentially incapable performing apparatus due to age.

CSFD retains National Accreditation

In April of 2018, the Colorado Springs Fire Department was reaccredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) after undergoing comprehensive review and appraisal of the department based upon the Eighth Edition of the Fire and Emergency Services Self-Assessment Manual (FESSAM). The accreditation is the department’s second accreditation in two attempts and has been accredited since March 4, 2013. The commission’s goals are to promote organizational self-improvement and to award accreditation status in recognition of good performance.

The fire department demonstrated that its self-study accreditation manual, community risk analysis, standards of cover (SOC) and strategic plan all met core competencies and criteria. The peer assessment team that conducted the evaluation recommended the Colorado Springs Fire Department retain its status as an accredited agency from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International.  The Colorado Springs Fire Department is the largest accredited agency in the State of Colorado.  The Accreditation process allows fire administrators to understand what is being done well, where improvement is necessary, and plan accordingly for the future.

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