St. Tammany Fire Protection District No. 1, which serves the Slidell area, has been awarded accredited agency status by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, making it the only municipal or volunteer fire agency in Louisiana to have achieved that distinction.

Fire Chief Chris Kaufmann announced the accreditation Tuesday, saying that he and other representatives of the district traveled to Washington, D.C., last week and appeared before a 12-person council as the culmination of a self-assessment process that began in 2007, with more than 2,000 hours committed to gathering documents and information.

Kaufmann said the experience will motivate the department to continue to improve.

Dan Crowley, chairman of the board that governs the fire district, said the commission was impressed that the district had the support of its governing board, administration and firefighters along with local government in the accreditation effort.

Accreditation Manager Michael Thiel said the fire district was reviewed on 200 measures, 89 of which were “go or no go.’’

As part of the process, the district had to create a strategic plan and consider its response time and placement of stations and resources.

St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister praised the district for its achievement, pointing out that only 200 fire departments worldwide have been awarded the same status by the commission.

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