On September 13, 2003, Cedar Park voters overwhelmingly passed Civil Service for Fire Fighters and Police Officers with over 74% voting in favor. The City of Cedar Park adopted Chapter 143 of the Texas Local Government Code, otherwise known as, "Civil Service" in November 2003.
Since becoming a Civil Service department, here are a few of the many notable achievements by Cedar Park Fire Department (CPFD):
• The City of Cedar Park was named one of the safest cities in Texas.
• CPFD was honored as the Texas EMS First Responder of the Year by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
• CPFD earned an ISO Class 1 rating. The Class 1 rating is the best possible score that can be given to any fire department nationwide - the ISO ratings range from 1 - 10. Insurance companies use ISO information to set commercial business and residential property insurance premium rates -- generally offering lower premiums in communities with better protection.
• CPFD earned Accredited Agency status with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) for meeting the criteria established thorough the CFAI's voluntary self-assessment and accreditation. With this, CPFD is one of only 15 fire departments in the nation that are both ISO 1 and Accredited.
Created by the Texas Legislature in 1947, the Civil Service management standards were developed to create a consistent, predictable process for hiring, promotions and discipline for Fire Fighters. The need arose because Fire Fighters often fell victim to cronyism and arbitrary management practices caused by changing political agendas. The resolution came in the form of statutory, professional management standards.
Today, most Fire Fighters seek Civil Service for the fair and equitable standards that were originally created to deter poor management practices. Although the Civil Service process is sought primarily for the professional working environment it sustains, it continues to resolve the cause of its creation.
Citizens of Cedar Park will benefit by having a more desirable working environment for Fire Fighters that attracts the highest quality candidates to fill positions that become available with the departments. Citizens will also benefit by retaining the seasoned and trained professionals it took many dedicated hours and training dollars to develop.
Expectations of Fire Fighters are very high. Civil Service is a tool that helps the departments continue to meet those expectations well into the future. It is important to note that unlike most employees, Fire Fighters cannot strike and they cannot move from job to job in a lateral fashion. In other words, when a Fire Fighter changes fire departments, no matter their seniority or experience, they must start at the bottom, possibly where they started their career years earlier. This creates a unique tie to the community and the job. The Fire Fighters will benefit by having an encouraging and predictable system by which they may pursue a professional career serving the citizens and guests of Cedar Park.
For more information on Chapter 143 of the Texas Local Government Code, click here.
Page Last Updated: Jan 27, 2018 (12:06:03)