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Beach Safety Ocean Rescue earns accreditation, achieves Excelsior status

Posted On: February 23, 2021

After months of preparation, Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue has once again received accreditation from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA.) The accreditation process occurs every three years and this is the fifth consecutive accreditation, qualifying the agency for the highest level of achievement—Excelsior status. After completing his review, one of the assessors called Beach Safety Ocean Rescue an exceptional agency with exceptional personnel.

“The accreditation process is a time-intensive, highly demanding process, and to reach Excelsior status is a testimony to the team’s dedication, professionalism and hard work,” said Beach Safety Interim Director Andrew Ethridge. “Beach Safety’s ability to effectively manage multiple components, including law enforcement, emergency medical services, and Ocean Rescue lifeguarding, along with the environmental duties required, was positively noted by the assessors.”
During the accreditation process, a team of outside assessors reviews files, policies, equipment, and operations to ensure an organization is in compliance with the high standards set by the CFA Commission. By earning five consecutive accreditations, Beach Safety has met or exceeded 186 applicable standards set forth by the commission for the last 15 years.

The final report submitted to the CFA commissioners by team leader Michael M. Somberg states: "Volusia County Beach Safety is likely one of the most unique agencies in the country. The members of this agency are all certified in three different, and some might say disparate, disciplines: emergency medical technician, open water lifeguard, and law enforcement officer. It takes a special person with total dedication to perform all three of these functions and all three on a daily basis. This is an exceptional agency with exceptional personnel and their commitment to their jobs carries over to the accreditation process. The agency has been committed to the accreditation process since 2006 and this was their fifth re-accreditation. The team was impressed with the agency and its personnel. From the leadership on down this is an exceptional agency. The team unanimously recommends that the Volusia County Beach Patrol be considered for re-accreditation as an excelsior agency at the next regular meeting of the Commission."

Volusia County Beach Safety employs a robust group of cross-trained team members and triple-certified law enforcement officers and the agency oversees and cares for more than 10 million people who visit the county’s beaches annually. Maintaining accreditation through the CFA is one of many benchmarks to ensure Beach Safety functions in the most efficient and effective manner.

The Beach Safety division is also accredited as an advanced lifesaving agency by the U.S. Lifesaving Association.

For updates and information on Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue, including opportunities to join this elite team, visit Volusia.org/beach, follow Volusia County Beaches on Facebook and Twitter, and download the free Volusia Beaches app from the Goggle Play or Apple App Store.

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