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
CHRISTOPHER COLLINS ON AUG 13, 2014
SOURCE: ABILENE REPORTER-NEWS, TEXAS
Aug. 13--ABILENE, Texas -- On average, 100 U.S. firefighters die in the line of duty each year.
But that doesn't have to be the case, said Joel Thompson, a fire academy instructor and a chief of operations at the Haltom City Fire Department. On Tuesday, Thompson taught a two-hour seminar to volunteer firefighters at the Abilene Civic Center, part of the 60th annual Abilene Fire Control Conference.
The conference, which includes training on pump operations, hazardous material awareness and safety is put on by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service.
During the class, Thompson said that 75 percent of on-duty deaths could be prevented by using proper firefighting techniques and by staying in shape.
"I'd say many of these could have been prevented," he said.
About half of each year's deaths are from heart attacks, Thompson said, the apparent result of a unhealthy lifestyle and a bad diet.
"When I was a volunteer, our dinner consisted of something fried, bacon and gravy," he told the class.
The other half of deaths can mostly be attributed to firefighters going too far inside a burning structure and becoming trapped. He called the blind bravery and aptitude for thrill-seeking shown by some firemen "a culture" that needs to change.
"When that building's on fire, we're going to go inside," Thompson said. "But if we continue to operate this way, we'll continue to have 100 more deaths a year. That will only change when we change the culture."
Some tips he gave to prevent unnecessary death while fighting structure fires:
Copyright 2014 - Abilene Reporter-News, Texas
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 $10,000benefit 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.
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