2015 HB 3667 Grant enrollment period now open (Workers' Compensation, Death, and/or Disability coverage)
2015 HB 3667 Grant: Workers' Compensation, Death, and/or Disability coverage - The 77th Texas Legislature (HB3667) created the Rural VFD Insurance Program and is funded by a 2% sales tax on the sale of fireworks. The program provides reimbursement grants for Texas firefighters to obtain workers compensation, death and disability insurance from private insurance companies. Each year more than 400 fire departments and 11,000 firefighters take advantage of the grant offering.
Who is eligible...
Any chartered, non-profit volunteer or part-paid/volunteer fire department is eligible, provided the number of paid members is 20 or less.
All qualified departments must participate in a firefighter certification program administered under Section 419.071 of the Texas Government Code (Texas Commission on Fire Protection), or by the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshal’s Association of Texas (SFFMA), or by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG).
What is eligible...
Any combination of compensation insurance for firefighters (Workers' Compensation, Death, and/or Disability Insurance) is eligible. The insurance coverage must include a workers' compensation or similar benefit, and a death benefit. Departments may enter into agreements with cities or counties in order to qualify for coverage and/or special premiums.
How much will it pay...
The program will reimburse 100% of the actual cost of eligible insurance coverage, up to a maximum of $112.00 per fire department member covered in the calendar year 2015.
How to apply...
It's easy, simply complete the following forms and submit via fax or mail. Please submit these forms only once during the enrollment period of December 2014 thru August 2015.
FAX: (979) 845-6160
Texas A&M Forest Service
Capacity Building Department
200 Technology Way, Suite 1162
College Station, TX 77845-3424
For more information...
Historical Funding Summaries
Mark Lamplugh (4th generation firefighter and former Captain with the Lower Chichester Fire Company) has posted an informative article on the prevalent issue of lack of physical fitness being a major contributor in many firefighter deaths and how proper prevention methods could go a long way in reducing the number of these deaths.
YOU CAN READ THE ARTICLE HERE.
One prevention method is developing an in-house Health & Wellness Program. VFIS of Texas is actually providing a grant up to $5,000 to select volunteer Texas Fire & EMS Departments to cover costs for equipment or professionals to develop an in-house Health & Wellness Program. The deadline to apply for this grant is December 31, 2014 and you can apply here: http://www.vfistx.com/news/2015-firefighter-safety-wellness-training-grant-application
Additionally, please see further resources concerning Firefighter Health & Wellness here:
VFIS of Texas NEWS
Here you will find helpful information regarding firefighters, ems responders, and updates in insurance policies.