VFIS OF TEXAS NEWS
VFIS OF TEXAS NEWS
VFIS of Texas offers Training Classes January 15th & 16th
We welcome you to attend one of our upcoming VFIS training classes in Texarkana and Grand Prairie. A 4-hr Bloodborne Pathogens instructor class will be held in Texarkana on January 15, 2013 and will be repeated in Grand Prairie on January 16, 2013. In addition, a 4-hr Highway Safety instructor class will be held in Texarkana on January 15, 2013.
Registration forms and general information on these classes are listed below.
Bloodborne Pathogens Class Description
Bloodborne Pathogens Registration Form
Highway/Roadway Safety Response Class Description
Highway/Roadway Safety Response Registration Form
If you are interested in attending, please complete the registration form(s) and return to our office as soon as possible. Any questions, please contact Barbara Marzean or Carole Johnson at 800-252-9435.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Karen Pickard of Ovilla is assistant EMS program director at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She is a member of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, EMS Educators and EMS Physicians, State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas, and North Texas Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association. She is a member of the National Society of Executive Fire Officers, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing, National Fire Protection Association EMS Standards Technical Committee, and North Central Texas Regional Advisory Council on Trauma. She is also founder, past president and a current board member of the Dallas Area Crisis Response Team, secretary/treasurer of the North Texas Fire District, and a volunteer for the Ovilla Fire Department EMS Continuing Education Program. Pickard received a
bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and completed executive fire officer training at the National Fire Academy.
New PSA's released by SFFMA
On 10/10/11, SFFMA released two PSAs aimed to continue to help fire departments in the state. Beginning October 10, these PSAs will start playing in various parts of the state on network TV. As part of a grant received from DHS, SFFMA produced a PSA for recruiting and retaining firefighters. The grant paid for the production, camera crews, and airtime in various media networks. At the same time, using the same talent and location, Actor Kyle Chandler did a public service announcement for the Texas Wildfire Relief Fund. Both PSAs will begin running across the state and we hope that they will benefit fire departments in obtaining new members and assisting with wildland firefighting needs.
The videos may be seen here:
VFIS-sponsored Award Winners Selected
Manchaca Volunteer Fire Department Wins Recruitment & Retention Award
Congratulations to Fire Chief Chris Barron and the Manchaca Volunteer Fire Department who were selected as the winner of the 2011 Recruitment & Retention Award, sponsored by VFIS. The award is presented annually to a department that has experienced excellent results to a comprehensive approach to retaining and recruiting members during a one-year period.
Ponderosa Fire Department Wins Safe Driving Award
Congratulations to Fire Chief Fred Windisch and the Ponderosa Fire Department who were selected as the winner of the 2011 Emergency Vehicle Safe Operations Achievement Award, sponsored by VFIS. The award is presented annually to a department that has experienced zero vehicle accidents during a one-year period.
Both awards will be presented at the VCOS Symposium in the Sun in Clearwater Beach, Florida in November. Congratulations to these departments on their accomplishments and for making Texas proud!
VFIS Offers New Safe Backing Program
Accidents resulting from backing emergency vehicles are unfortunately all too common. These incidents often result in minor property or vehicle damages but sometimes theyare severe or even fatal. To help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries related to vehicle backing incidents, VFIS has developed a new program “Safe Backing Practices for Fire and EMS.” The program outlines the hazards encountered when backing any style emergency vehicle and provides visual portrayals of several common situations that may occur.
Click here to preview a clip from this new program and how to order the kit.
Now Available – VFIS Critical Illness Program
VFIS has recently introduced a new Critical Illness Program for emergency service organizations. The Critical Illness Program provides a cash lump sum when a member is first diagnosed with cancer, stroke or suffers a heart attack. In addition to these lump sum living benefits, if an insured dies accidentally, the beneficiary receives a death benefit. The condition or death does not have to be fire service related. The basic lump sum benefit is $10,000 and the premium per person is under $100 per year. Like all insurance policies, there are certain conditions, limitations and exclusions that are contained in the policy.
For more information on this program or for a proposal, please contact our office.
Recommendations for Allowing the Public to Ride Emergency Vehicles
As a rule, VFIS discourages the general public riding on any apparatus. However, if your department does want to provide public rides for a parade or open house, a VFIS underwriter will need to review the proposed plan and the following risk control recommendations should be considered:
Some departments might offer a Ride-Along program that allows community residents to ride along with the department to observe their operations when responding to an emergency scene. Programs such as this have unique exposures that need to be specifically reviewed and monitored carefully. A VFIS underwriter will need to provide guidance with this type of request well in advance of the event. Some risk control recommendations to consider are:
Each of these situations require an appropriate degree of care and protection to the individuals and the organization. A thorough review by a VFIS underwriter of the proposed plans and safety measures well in advance of the event is paramount. Please contact your agent or account manager should your department consider allowing the public to ride your emergency vehicles.
SFFMA Offers New VFIS AD&D Benefits
Starting in 2011, SFFMA has offered a new optional VFIS Accidental Death & Dismemberment policy to their members. This policy provides a $20,000 benefit for an On-Duty Accidental Death and a $10,000 benefit for an Off-Duty Accidental Death. In addition, a $5,000 benefit is paid for a Severe Burn over 20% or more of the body. This policy is offered as an optional member benefit for only $10 per year for each individual member. Accidental death remains the #1 cause of death for working age people and many people do not have adequate life insurance to support their family in the event of their death. For more information on this member benefit, contact Diana Cardona at SFFMA at 800-580-7336.
Rural Volunteer Fire Department Insurance Program (HB 3667)
The deadline for assistance for calendar year 2012 under HB 3667 is August 31, 2012. This grant will reimburse fire departments for the purchase of insurance from private insurance companies. Eligible coverage includes any combination of Workers’ Compensation, Death and/or Disability Insurance (including the new $10,000/$20,000 optional SFFMA member benefit). The program will reimburse up to $96.00 per firefighter covered in calendar year 2012. For more information and an application for this program, go to http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu/main/popup.aspx?id=9442.