Fire officials say San Ramon district should get accredited

Review shows strengths -- and areas for improvement

Fire officials from across the country are recommending that the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District be accredited.

If that recommendation is approved later this year, that would make the district just the sixth district in the state to win accreditation.

Fire Chief Richard Price says accreditation is about ensuring that the district meets national benchmarks, for everything from response times and training to maintenance and financial records.

Price said the department is currently rated a Class 2 agency, but accreditation paves the way for it to become a Class 1 agency, which would mean the lowest possible insurance rates for San Ramon homeowners.

But Price says it about more than that; he said the whole process is meant to show the Fire District's strengths and its weaknesses, and to offer transparency, so that people know their money is spent on the right things.

In a meeting Friday with San Ramon fire officials, Chief Wayne Senter from South Kitsap Fire and Rescue in Washington -- head of the accreditation team -- said that "accreditation is not a destination, it is a journey."

Senter noted that reaching the recommendation "is a milestone that started at San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District many years ago."

Price said he's proud of the teamwork that went into getting the district ready for the accreditation team.

"Nearly every member of this district participated in the accreditation process -- some in small ways, and some in very large ways," Price said, adding, "This agency is committed to continuous improvement."

The Commission on Fire Accreditation International will make the final decision in Chicago later this year, after the peer assessment team leader and district representatives present a candidacy report. Based on the report and presentation, the commission will then grant, deny or defer the accreditation.


Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of San Ramon
on May 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm

I think this is a wonderful measurement of our fire district – congratulations for all the hard work! I believe we now join the likes of the Novato Fire District in Marin County who is also internationally accredited (according to their website

Like this comment
Posted by eric
a resident of San Ramon
on May 17, 2010 at 10:26 pm

What was the "total" cost to achieve/receive this accreditation? And really how does it benefit the resident/taxpayer?

Like this comment
Posted by Longtime Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on May 17, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Longtime Resident is a registered user.

Other than the manpower to drive them around? Who knows what the "total" cost was - it shouldn't be much since the preparations are things the fire dept should be doing anyway. As for the benefit to you? Your homeowners insurance should cost less.

Like this comment
Posted by Kelli
a resident of Danville
on May 17, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Being accredited keeps LAFCO from merging fire departments with lesser qualifications. If SRV Fire were to ever merge all of the Valley's tax money would go to Antioch, Bay Point and Pittsburg. That is why Contra Costa Fire is doing rolling blackouts in WC, PH, and Lafayette. Those towns pay the money and it is transferred via a greater need in East County. I say keep our tax money local. Nice work SRV.

Like this comment
Posted by eric
a resident of San Ramon
on May 18, 2010 at 6:45 am

The fire department did a very good job of explaining the importnace and value of accreditation on their website at this Web Link.

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