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.