The importance of proper education & training for fire and emergency personnel can never be understated. The potential risks are just too high to ignore it. Of course, some mishaps are unavoidable, but the better prepared you are to handle any potential calamities, the more likely you are to overcome them and survive them.
The most recent case of an avoidable catastrophe was in Phoenix, AZ
where firefighter Brad Harper was killed at a mulch pile fire scene two months ago after he became pinned between an engine and an ambulance. According to the report, this was a horrible -but preventable- accident. Three errors played a role in what happened: By policy, the Firefighters should have had a spotter when the fire apparatus backed up, and they didn't. The firefighter driving the fire truck should have noticed Harper on the road before moving the rig. And Harper should have seen the fire truck moving towards him. Trapped in such a narrow space, firefighters were afraid to move either truck and hurt Harper even more. It took rescue crews 13 minutes and 22 seconds to extricate Harper, who later died. More info about the incident can be found HERE.
VFIS of Texas provides education & training to fire and emergency stations all over Texas. Many times, these classes are offered for free and or can be fully reimbursed by grant. Our goal is to educate and train personnel to better protect them and to reduce their risk of injury or death. VFIS of Texas offers the following courses:
Emergency Vehicle Driver Training (1-2 Days)
Emergency Vehicle Response Safety (3-4 Hrs)
Dynamics of Emergency Vehicle Response (3-4 Hrs)
Highway Safety (3-4 Hrs)
Intersection Safety (3-4 Hrs)
Rollover Prevention (3-4 Hrs)
Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) Operations (3-4 Hrs)
Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Training (2-3 Hrs)
Art of Reading Smoke (2-3 Hrs)
To learn more about offered training courses and to sign your department up, please visit www.vfistx.com/training.
Liquor liability represents a significant exposure to the Emergency Service Organization (ESO). In recent years, both the frequency of claims involving this coverage, as well as the severity of the awards, have increased dramatically.
If the insured is involved in any of the following activities, a full evaluation of the operation and controls should be made.
1. Private Club
3. Social hall where alcoholic beverages are sold, distributed, or managed by the insured, (whether licensed or not).
4. Social hall where alcoholic beverages are provided by lessee and distributed or managed by the insured.
5. Continuing or ongoing special events, such as summer softball leagues, where alcoholic beverages are sold.
6. Individual special events with beer or liquor sales.
Examples of Past Claims
Social member of VFC left the bar with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent. Claimant involved in auto accident with severe injuries. Reserve of $300,000.
After leaving a picnic/party sponsored by the insured fire company, claimants were involved in an automobile accident. One of the injuries resulted in death. Beer, liquor, and wine were served on a cash basis. The driver of the vehicle was under twenty-one. Claimants brought suit under liquor liability; current reserve at $265,000.
The following areas/topics should be discussed with ESO and evaluated with comments made pertaining to the evaluation:
Full Service Bar/Club or Social Hall
1. Does the ESO operate with or without a license?
2. Is a license required?
3. Does the ESO have a written Alcoholic Beverage Management Policy? (If yes, review it for adequacy—use VFIS standard recommendation for comparison.)
4. Estimate of receipt for beverage sales?
5. Hours of operation?
6. Have the bartenders received any server awareness training (i.e., TIPS or TAM)? How many? Copies of certificates obtained?
7. If associated with social hall rentals only, who purchases, manages, and distributes the beverages?
1. When is the event held? For how long?
2. Is a license or permit required?
3. Does the ESO have written procedures for controlling the alcoholic beverage exposure?
4. How are beverages purchased? (Cash by the drink? Tickets or coupons? Free with purchase of mug or glass?)
5. Is there a controlled area for consumption?
6. Estimate of liquor receipts?
1. How many times per year is there an alcohol exposure associated with a rental operation?
2. Is there a person from the ESO responsible for serving the alcoholic beverages?
3. Have members who are serving alcoholic beverages received any server awareness training (i.e., TIPS or TAM)?
4. Does the ESO verify the age of all youthful guests prior to serving any alcoholic beverages?
5. Does the ESO discourage guests who exhibit signs of intoxication from driving, by offering alternate means of transportation (i.e., taxi or designated drivers)?
6. Does the ESO utilize a rental agreement containing a hold harmless or release of liability clause in conjunction with these rentals?
The Texas Rural Volunteer Fire Department Insurance Program is a grant program funded by the Texas State Legislature by HB3667. It provides funding to rural volunteer fire departments for the purchase of Workers’ Compensation and/or Accident & Sickness coverage. For 2013, the reimbursement is up to $105 per firefighter. This program is administered by the Texas Forest Service.
The deadline for submitting your reimbursement forms is August 31st or when the allocated funds are depleted. Don't delay turning in your information.
Click on the forms below to download:
The title of SFFMA State Firefighter of the Year and SFFMA State EMS Responder of the Year are given to only an elite few. To be nominated for these awards and to be selected from so many is quite an honor.
Each individual nominated for these awards is recognized for their strong values, leadership, vision, heroism and dedication. Congratulations to all of the nominees and to Dennis Gage, 2013 SFFMA State Firefighter of the Year and to Ed Konick, 2013 SFFMA State EMS Responder of the Year! Click the picture above to see more pics from the event or click HERE.
VFIS of Texas NEWS
Here you will find helpful information regarding firefighters, ems responders, and updates in insurance policies.