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Staring at dancing flames and listening to the crackle and pop of a campfire can be a relaxing and fun way to spend an evening. But while such fires can be a great opportunity for family bonding, fire is of course a deadly force, and its capacity for destruction should never be underestimated.
For a fire to exist, three elements must always be present: fuel, a heat source, and oxygen. The exothermic chemical reaction that results from this trio sustains a fire and allows it to spread. If any one of the three elements is removed, a fire can be extinguished. Unfortunately, many house fires spread so rapidly that escape takes priority over extinguishment. All families, particularly those with young children, should be prepared for the possibility of a house fire.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), more than 3,400 U.S. residents die in fires every year. Ninety percent of these deaths occur in home fires. And perhaps most tragically, when the source of a fire is attributed to “playing with a heat source,” children under the age of 10 make up 93% of related deaths. Children under age 5 are especially at risk; their natural curiosity about fire and their inability to escape from one without adult assistance makes for a deadly combination. Of all children under age 14 who die in home fires, more than half of them are under 5.
These alarming statistics point to a need for families to take steps to prevent a fire, teach their children what to do in a fire, and prepare the entire family for the possibility of a fire. Some time spent in preparation can make the difference between life and death in the future.
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If you are a young volunteer and have joined an Emergency Service Organization (ESO) that offers a Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP), it is likely that you have been asked to complete paperwork to put a life insurance policy in place on your behalf. If so, you may have been putting it off because you have a thousand other things to do.
It is important to remember that your ESO’s LOSAP was custom-designed to meet the unique needs of your organization. Very basically, the LOSAP provides active volunteers with benefits in the event of death, disability and retirement. To a young person, retirement seems a lifetime away. However, since most LOSAP plans provide a death benefit, there is immediate financial protection available for you and your loved ones.
Sudden tragedies know no age limitations. In the event of your untimely death, a death benefit offered by the LOSAP provides significant financial relief to your family no matter what the cause of death.* You do not have to die in the line of duty to qualify for a death benefit provided by the LOSAP. You are never too young to look out for your friends and family. Take the time to become an active participant in your LOSAP by completing a life insurance application today and remember to keep your beneficiary designation current! What you do now will affect your loved ones later.
For more information on Length of Service Awards Program and to contact us, CLICK HERE.
*Certain policy exclusions may apply
MORE INFO: VFIS Benefits News (FALL 2013)
Any Female Firefighters out there? Here are some important articles from Fire Engineering addressing "The Dilemma of Being a Woman Firefighter":
The Dilemma of Being a Woman Firefighter - Part 1
The Dilemma of Being a Woman Firefighter - Part 2
Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA)—one of the most significant reforms to the U.S. health care system in over a generation in 2010. Since its passage, the federal government and others have been analyzing the act and determining how to implement this legislation. As a result, we’re only just beginning to understand how the act will impact the fire and emergency service.
The legislation is extensive, with many moving pieces, and the public opinion of the bill is highly polarized. Therefore, it’s critical that fire department leaders fully understand the facts and avoid sharing misinformation. Learn more by downloading this Fact Sheet from the International Association of Fire Chiefs: http://www.iafc.org/files/1GR/gr_PPACAfactSheet.pdf
Also, be sure to tell the IRS to exempt Volunteer Firefighters and EMS personnel from the Affordable Care Act's Shared Responsibility Provision. Simply download the IAFC's Draft Letter (http://bit.ly/1fFMf2V), input your department's information, and submit it to the IRS here (http://1.usa.gov/19UjgpC). Act quickly as this comment opportunity will expire on November 8.
In honor of National Fire Prevention Week, VFIS of Texas is giving away a $100 VISA Gift Card as a THANK YOU to all the hard working Emergency Service Organizations out there! ENTER TO WIN HERE: http://a.pgtb.me/r9fNBj
Contest ends Sunday 10/13 @ 11:59pm. 1 winner will be drawn at random and notified on Monday, 10/14.
Did you know there is a growing threat of cyber liability to emergency service organizations?
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