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State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy presents the Recognized Best Practices plaque to Wylie Fire Chief Brent Parker.

Wylie Fire Rescue has received the coveted designation of Recognized Best Practices Fire Department from the Texas Fire Chiefs Association Best Practices Recognition Program. WFR is one of only 12 departments in the state of Texas to achieve this status since the program's inception in 2013.

The Recognition Program evaluates a fire department's compliance regarding 117 Best Practices for departments in the state of Texas. The practices, developed to assist agencies in the efficient and effective delivery of service to their communities, cover all aspects of fire department management including administration and organization, emergency medical service, training, special operations, records and information management, fire operations, fire prevention, risk reduction, community outreach, response analysis, communications, safety and health, resources management, and professional standards and conduct.

This process, which is voluntarily undertaken by fire departments, required its members to conduct a critical self-review of the department's policies, procedures, facilities and operations. WFR began the lengthy process of becoming Recognized in 2015. Chief Brent Parker said many of the 117 Best Practices were already in place, but the application process caused the department to capture and formalize the missing pieces and create written documentation, policies and plans.

Following WFR's self-evaluation, an outside audit and review was conducted by trained fire chiefs and assistant fire chiefs from other areas of the state. The result of their review was then sent to the Texas Fire Chiefs Best Practices Recognition board for final analysis and the decision to award Recognized status.

"I am very proud of the department's dedication to this process," Parker said. "Although achieving Recognized status is a great honor, the motivation to undertake the challenge was our desire to continue delivering the best possible level of service to the members of the Wylie community."

The award was presented at the December meeting of Wylie City Council, and the department will be recognized at the Texas Fire Chiefs Association Conference in Austin in February.

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