WEST Yorkshire is the only fire and rescue authority in the country to be given the top four-star rating for performance improvement.
The Audit Commission's verdict on West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority gives glowing praise for the way it delivers front-line services, manages its money and the value for money it gives.
Chief Fire Officer Phil Toase said: "This is one of the proudest moments in my 33 years' service.
"The Commission judgement doesn't just come from a brief inspection, but from a series of rigorous audits over many months.
"Every aspect of the way we do business has been tested.
"The Commission's verdict is not a reflection of leadership and management, but of effective teamwork at every level."
The Commission summarises some of West Yorkshire's key achievements as:
* Quality services delivered with value for money.
* Reduced calls to accidental fires and fire-related injuries.
* Local community education projects.
* Extensive community consultation.
* Partnership working.
* Focus on equality and diversity.
* Robust planning.
Mr Toase added: "When any aspect of performance is off target this is swiftly recognised and remedied.
"The Commission's national scorecard for England's 47 fire and rescue authorities shows that while some are rising to the challenge of change and placing greater emphasis on fire prevention and community safety, progress is patchy.
"While West Yorkshire has no intention of sitting on any laurels. The public can be confident that we're on the right track."
Nearly 60,000 free home fire safety checks are now carried out every year in the county with over 90,000 smoke alarms fitted.