August 26, 2010
When Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation set out to build its fire department, the Tribe’s leaders were determined to build the best department possible to serve the needs of their community and their neighbors. Last week in Chicago, the Yocha Dehe Fire Department reached a historic step in attaining that goal: it became the first Native American fire department to earn accreditation by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI).
“We are very proud of the Yocha Dehe Fire Department and honored to be the first Native American government to accomplish this goal,” said Tribal Chairman Marshall McKay. “Achieving accreditation is a critical step in the advancement of tribes, proving that we can, as nations, attain the high standards required by CFAI.”
“When we set out to build the Fire Department, we set the highest standards,” noted Paula Lorenzo Tackett, Tribal Chairperson when the department was created. “That was our commitment to our Tribe, and also to our neighbors here in the Capay Valley and throughout the region. To finally reach that standard is a proud achievement for our Fire Department, our Nation and our entire community.”
“We were determined to build our Fire Department to complement services provided by the other departments in our region with whom we proudly work,” added James Kinter, Tribal Council Member and Yocha Dehe Fire Commission Chairman. “This accomplishment underscores Yocha Dehe’s commitment to provide the finest emergency services for our community and neighbors.”
The accreditation is the result of six years of rigorous development, self-assessment and peer evaluation of YDFD’s administration, training, operational skills, documentation, equipment and facilities. CFAI is recognized internationally as the model for critical assessment of fire and emergency services. Only 147 of the estimated 33,000 career and volunteer fire departments in the U.S. are CFAI accredited.
“Providing regional emergency services is a team effort and our strong partnerships with other great departments helped us achieve accreditation,” said YDFD Chief Michael Chandler. “We want to congratulate the Roseville Fire Department for achieving CFAI reaccreditation this year and commend other regional departments for pursuing accreditation under CFAI’s tough standards.”
“CFAI accreditation has international credibility because its standards are the leading edge in fire protection,” said Bill Weisgerber, Interim Fire Chief of the City of Davis. “Having Yocha Dehe, a partner department, gain this important accreditation helps establish a benchmark and set the stage for our entire region to analyze and prepare for the proper levels of service necessary as the dynamics of our communities change.”
YDFD plays a vital role in emergency response and life safety throughout the Capay Valley and Yolo County by providing full-service fire protection, technical rescue, wilderness search and rescue, fire prevention, emergency preparedness, and paramedic services.