*DEADLINE EXTENDED TO AUGUST 15TH*
2022 Rural Volunteer Fire Department Insurance Program (HB 3667) - The Rural Volunteer Fire Department Insurance Program (HB 3667) is a grant program designed to reimburse eligible volunteer fire departments for the purchase of insurance from private insurance companies. Eligible coverage includes any combination of compensation insurance for firefighters (workers’ compensation, accidental death and dismemberment, group term life, accident and sickness, and/or cancer-related insurance) purchased from Texas insurance companies. The program will reimburse 100% of the actual cost of eligible insurance coverage up to a maximum of $185 per fire department member.
Recognized, non-profit volunteer fire departments operated by its members are eligible. Any part-paid/part-volunteer department is also eligible, provided the number of paid members is 20 or less. Departments may enter into agreements with cities or counties in order to qualify for coverage and/or special premiums.
All eligible 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).
TO APPLY, PLEASE COMPLETE AND SUBMIT BEFORE AUGUST 15, 2022:
1) Rural Volunteer Fire Department Application for Grant Assistance (Form TFS-FO-408)
2) Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification (IRS Form W-9)
3) 2022 Roster of active insured fire department members.
4) Copy of a Payroll Classification Schedule Page 1 and 2, or a copy of the current paid insurance policy which provides insurance coverage during the calendar year 2022, or payment receipt for a workers’ compensation, accidental death and dismemberment, group term life, accident and sickness, or cancer-related insurance policy.
• The policy or payment documents must show the policy number, the cost or premium amount and the coverage period.
• All required reimbursement documents must accompany the 2022 grant application form.
• Applications, either complete or incomplete, arriving after August 15, 2022 are not eligible for reimbursement.
• Only ONE application per department will be reimbursed for the enrollment period of November 2021 thru July 2022.
All forms can be found at texasfd.com/RuralVFDInsuranceProgram or by contacting the Capacity Building Department.
SUBMIT VIA FAX, EMAIL OR MAIL FAX TO:
Texas A&M Forest Service
200 Technology Way, Suite 1162
College Station, Texas 77845-3424
During the 2022 SFFMA Training Conference and Convention, SFFMA and VFIS of Texas presented the EMS Responder of the Year and the Firefighter of the Year awards.
SFFMA Chaplain Ben Kennedy and VFIS of Texas President Barbara Marzean awarded Dolores Linda Finney from Freer VFD the EMS Responder of the Year, and David Luedeke from Needville VFD the Firefighter of the Year.
Emergency vehicle rollovers are costly. There is a human cost (fatalities and serious injuries to occupants), and there is a financial cost (vehicle damage, loss of use of the vehicle, and the public perception of your organization). They are also largely preventable. All emergency vehicles are susceptible to rollovers, but tankers (tenders), pumper tankers, aerials, and ambulances are particularly vulnerable because of their high center of gravity.
Another concern for emergency vehicle drivers is to be aware that civilian vehicle operators may not react in the manner in which you expect or feel to be appropriate. In light of this, you should attempt to leave yourself alternative options when passing or overtaking civilian vehicles. Keep in mind that, when you’re driving an emergency vehicle to an emergency, if another driver fails to yield the right of way, as an emergency vehicle driver you should not:
1. assume the right of way
2. force the right of way
For optimum safety, the officer or person riding in the front seat officer’s location should be in a position to assist the driver with certain functions that can improve his or her ability to concentrate on driving and traffic awareness.
At the 146th Annual SFFMA Training Conference and Convention, our very own Barbara Marzean received a resolution from the Executive Board for her incredible dedication and many years of service. The board unanimously voted to name the training room at the State Firefighters' and Fire Marshals' Association office The Barbara Marzean Training Room.
Upon the announcement, Barb received a standing ovation from everyone in attendance! 😊 What a distinguished award this is to a very deserving individual. We are all so proud of you Barb!
Texas Mutual is offering $2 million in safety grants to assist eligible policyholders in purchasing safety equipment. Grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you’re interested in applying, you are encouraged to:
Contact Texas Mutual's safety services support center at 844-WORKSAFE (967-5723) or email@example.com if you have any questions about their safety grants.
Fireworks displays are a beautiful way to highlight a holiday weekend. Many communities hold these events, and, often, fire departments are the organizations that sponsor them.
Unfortunately, fireworks can also be the cause of serious injuries and property damage. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that in 1997 an estimated 8,300 people suffered fireworks-related injuries severe enough to require emergency room treatment. While children were the largest group affected, at least a third of those injured were adults aged 25-44. Property damage each year runs into the millions: In 1996 an estimated 24,800 fires involving fireworks caused $26.8 million in direct damage.
Consider some of the following procedures to prevent accidents and limit your liability.
First and foremost, contract with a professional fireworks company to fire the shells. Ask for a certificate of insurance and that your ESO be named as an additional insured on their policy. The limits of their liability policy should be at least $1 million for bodily injury and property damage.
If you use employees/members of your ESO to handle the display instead, make sure they have been trained and certified to shoot fireworks. A number of states require licensing or certification in this regard. A Pyrotechnics Display Operator Training Program can also be obtained from Pyrotechnics Guild International, Inc. (www.pgi.org) Work with the fireworks company to determine adequate distances from which spectators are separated from the display, discharge and fall-out areas.
The NFPA Standard 1123 gives specific requirements for the display area: Allow at least 70 foot radius for every inch of internal mortar diameter of the largest aerial shell fired. There should be no spectators, dwellings or parking areas in this radius.
The shell trajectory in the discharge area should have a 25 foot clearance to any overhead objects. Ground display pieces should be at least 75 feet from any spectator viewing or parking areas.
The fall-out area, where debris from spent shells and any malfunctioning aerial shells fall, should be free of all spectators, vehicles or combustible materials.
If you plan to host a Fourth of July fireworks display that requires a permit on or before July 5:
Our VFIS of Texas Monthly Newsletter will look different starting next month. We are migrating to a new marketing and management system that we are very excited about, and we look forward to the platform change! So even though things may look a little different, you can look forward to the same quality of content you expect each month from our newsletters.
If you are already subscribed to our monthly newsletter, there is nothing you need to do. Just look out for our May 2022 Newsletter towards the end of the month. If you do not receive it then, double check your Junk Folder. Otherwise reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the newsletter and assure that you are still on the list.
New subscribers can be added by reaching out to email@example.com.
Cyber liability insurance won’t prevent a hack, but it will help you recover from one. There are two main types:
• First-party coverage, which responds to a loss resulting from a cyberattack on your business network
• Third-party coverage, which responds to cyberattacks on others’ systems or networks
Coverage Highlights in a cyber liability policy.
• States have data breach notification laws that require companies to tell clients about a breach.
Free credit monitoring
• Services can cost $10 to $30 per month per individual. Most states require businesses to provide it for a year.
State and federal penalties
• You might be fined if you are found liable for a breach.
Legal defense costs
• You’ll need to mount a defense if a client sues you for exposing their data.
Cost to repair damages
• You’ll need tech expertise to rebuild your computer systems and networks.
• An expert can help by removing emotions from the process and negotiating a payment reduction.
• Some policies reimburse ransom payments, but the conversation around ransom payments is changing. Make sure you understand the exclusions.
Data breach due to stolen property
• Cyber liability won’t cover the cost to replace a laptop or other device (that’s property insurance), but it will respond to the data exposed due to the theft.
In order to improve our customer service and company work flow, we are upgrading our agency management system. We are very excited about this transition and the new enhanced benefits it will provide!
Because of this, there will be a delay in our service through Friday, April 1st. We appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Should you need immediate assistance during this time, please e-mails Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512-628-5186.
We are excited for this next step as a company, and will release more information about the upgrade very soon.
Senate Bill 22 created a presumption that a COVID-19 injury or death is work-related for certain first responders if certain conditions are met.
The bill allows these first responders or their beneficiaries, who had their COVID-19 claim denied by the insurance carrier, to request that the insurance carrier reprocess the claim.
Covered employees or their beneficiaries must request that the insurance carrier reprocess the claim by June 14, 2022.
VFIS of Texas NEWS
Here you will find helpful information regarding firefighters, ems responders, and updates in insurance policies.