Registration is now open for VFIS of Texas online “Instructor Level” training classes through May of 2021! The classes will be limited to the first 10 participants. These online courses are interactive and all participants must have a computer with good internet connection, webcam, speakers and microphone. More classes will be scheduled for later in the year.
Emergency Vehicle Driver Training (Fire) *Instructor Level*
This course is designed to teach the instructional methodology to existing instructors that have an Instructor Certification (any level) or have participated in a previous VFIS EVDT course.
January 20, 2021 (8:00am – 5:00pm) - Register Here
January 27, 2021 (8:00am – 5:00pm) - Register Here
March 24, 2021 (8:00am – 5:00pm) - Register Here
March 31, 2021 (8:00am – 5:00pm) - Register Here
Emergency Vehicle Driver Training (EMS) *Instructor Level*
This course is designed to teach the instructional methodology to existing EMS professionals that have an Instructor Certification (any level) or have participated in a previous VFIS EVDT course.
February 24, 2021 (8:00am – 5:00pm) - Register Here
April 14, 2021 (8:00am – 5:00pm) - Register Here
Emergency Services UTV/ATV Safety Program *Instructor Level*
This course is designed to teach the instructional methodology for Emergency Services UTV/ATV Safety.
May 19, 2021 (6:00pm – 10:00pm) - Register Here
2021 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 $175 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 JULY 31, 2021:
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) Roster of active 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 2021, 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 grant application form.
• Applications, either complete or incomplete, arriving after July 31, 2021 are not eligible for reimbursement.
• Only ONE application per department will be reimbursed for the enrollment period of November 2020 thru July 2021.
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
Every organization operating today has key people that help it remain successful and profitable. Although most organizations insure their property and assets, few think to insure their most precious assets--the men and women whose education, experience, talent, and judgment contributes substantially to the financial success of the organization. Loss of a key person can adversely affect the organization’s operating efficiency, and will cause expenses related to finding his/her replacement.
Typical losses associated with losing a key person include:
Closely held organizations are particularly at risk since there are typically one or two people whose skill and contacts make the organization operate effectively. This is incredibly true for certain high ranking members of fire departments.
How Key Person Insurance Works
The organization purchases a key person life insurance policy on the key employee. The organization is the owner and beneficiary of the policy. There is no one special key person policy. The organization should choose the policy that best fits its needs.
The organization makes non-deductible premium payments and retains all ownership rights. Cash values inside the policy grow tax-free.
If the key person dies, the organization will receive income tax free death proceeds if the two requirements of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 are met:
To learn more about Key Person Insurance or to get a Quote, contact our Employee Benefits Sales Executive Tom Newby at (512) 628-5189 or email@example.com.
VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company are once again pleased to sponsor a need-based Health & Wellness Grant program for fire departments and non-profit EMS organizations in Texas. Grants up to $5,000 will be awarded based on financial need and are intended to assist emergency service organizations in developing a health & wellness program to prevent emergency responder deaths and injuries and for cancer prevention. Departments will need to apply for the grant, expend the funds and then send in copies of receipts in order to receive the grant funds. Grant Application Deadline is December 31, 2020.
Who is eligible:
What is eligible:
How it works:
**THE DEADLINE TO APPLY IS DECEMBER 31, 2020.**
Any grant questions, please contact Kayla Bridgewaters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-628-5054.
Great video from Crims Chapel VFD staying fit in this Texas heat and utilizing items purchased with the Health and Wellness Grant!
AUSTIN, Texas - 08/26/2020
WinStar Insurance Group dba VFIS of Texas continues for the 2nd year to be part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) Best Practices Study Group.
The agencies comprising the study group are selected every third year through a comprehensive nomination and qualifying process and awarded a “Best Practices Agency” designation. The selected Best Practices agencies retain their status during the three-year study cycle (2019-2022) by submitting extensive financial and operational data for review each year. During the 2020 Study year, only 262 independent agencies throughout the U.S. qualified and retained their status as a Best Practices agency.
The Best Practices Study was initiated by IIABA in 1993 as the foundation for efforts to improve agency performance. The annual Study of leading independent insurance agencies, which is conducted by the Big “I” and Reagan Consulting of Atlanta, GA, documents the business practices of these “best” agencies and urges others to adopt similar practices.
For nearly 30 years, the Big “I” has developed a family of products and webinars designed to help cultivate a Best Practices agency culture. The offerings include materials such as the Agency Comparison Workbook, Guide to Producer Contracts, the Customer Service Experience Handbook, Sales Potential Quick Check, Interactive Agency Self-Diagnostic Tool, and Best Practices Joint Planning Tool Quick Step. Many of the publications include guidelines, worksheets, and case studies to help agents apply the information contained in each report and move beyond theory into practice.
In addition to these materials, hundreds of workshops and seminars have been conducted at various producer association functions, company sponsored agency meetings and national automation users group conventions.
The Big “I” and Reagan Consulting jointly maintain the Best Practices Gateway website (www.reaganconsulting.com/reasearch/best-practices) that provides executive summaries of the annual Best Practices Studies and various Best Practices tools. The Gateway, as well as the annual study, is made possible in part through the financial sponsorship of various insurance companies and industry organizations.
The 2020 Best Practices Study sponsors include: Amerisure, Applied Systems, Allstate, Beyond Insurance, Central Insurance Companies, Chubb, EMC Insurance, Encompass, Grange Insurance, The Hanover Insurance Group, The Hartford, Imperial PFS, InsurBanc, Integrity Insurance, Liberty Mutual, MetLife, Nationwide, Progressive, Safeco Insurance, Travelers, Vertafore and Westfield.
WinStar Insurance Group LLC dba VFIS of Texas purchased the assets of Regnier & Associates, Inc. on October 1, 2016. Regnier & Associates, Inc. was founded in May of 1982 providing coverage through the VFIS program for emergency service organizations in Texas. WinStar Insurance Group LLC also dedicates our time insuring niche industries including craft beverage, water districts, commercial ambulances, child care facilities and more and is dedicated to continuing the vision and commitment that Regnier & Associates, Inc. has provided for the past 34 years.
For more information on the Best Practices Study, contact Jennifer Becker at IIABA, 1-800-221-7917.
Founded in 1896, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing more than 25,000 agency locations united under the Trusted Choice brand. Trusted Choice independent agents offer consumers all types of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products—from a variety of insurance companies.
Severe Weather Resources
With Hurricane Laura upon us, we want to remind everyone to be as safe as possible, even as the need for your services increases. With that being said, here are some resources and procedures to help after the storm.
After the Storm
Claims should be turned in ASAP. The sooner a claim is submitted, the quicker the adjusters can get the assignment. We are recommending if there is any damage to an apparatus that you take a photo showing the height of the water on the apparatus (i.e. water line mark on the apparatus). This will help the adjusters determine what will be needed: repairs, fluid replacement, or just inspection. In addition, you should set aside damaged property for inspection and assemble an inventory of damaged items. If your building is flooded, please contact a mitigation contractor immediately to start the water extraction process.
"COVID has prevented our department from conducting fundraisers this year. This is the first time the department has to worry about the ability to fix equipment or even pay monthly bills such as electric and fuel."
Congratulations to the following recipients of the 2020 Financial Relief Grant sponsored by VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual!
The next part of the grant program, the 2021 Health and Wellness Grant, will open on September 1st for applications. More information below.
Texas Mutual Insurance Company, a policyholder-owned company, and Volunteer Firemen’s Insurance Services of Texas (VFIS of Texas) will be awarding a total of $500,000 to nonprofit emergency service organizations across Texas through two separate grant programs. $200,000 will be designated for a financial relief grant program to help provide funding assistance to emergency service organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and $300,000 will support these organizations in investing in their team’s health and wellness.
Grant applications for a financial relief grant ($2,500 per organization) will open on August 10 and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications for health and wellness grants will be open from September 1 through December 31 and grants will be awarded the first quarter of 2021.
Texas Mutual, the state’s leading provider of workers’ compensation insurance, and VFIS of Texas partner with the State Firefighters’ & Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas to manage the application process and select grant recipients.
“Our emergency responders are essential workers who come to our aid in times of need, and this is our chance to support them in theirs. Now more than ever, these grants will continue to support the crucial work of nonprofit emergency service organizations and help take care of emergency service responders across the state.” - Barbara Marzean, President of VFIS of Texas
SFFMA President Tim Smith accepts check for $500,000 from VFIS of Texas President Barbara Marzean.
Texas Mutual and VFIS of Texas have awarded safety and wellness grants to emergency responders throughout the state since 2013. This year, they expanded their funding to include a grant program specifically to assist in the financial recovery of emergency responder organizations, as result of COVID-19. These new grants will not be restricted to a specific use other than to provide much-needed funding to the organization. During this unprecedented time, many emergency service organizations are facing critical funding needs because they are not able to conduct their traditional fundraisers.
“We recognize the challenges that many emergency responders are facing and know that these grants will help fill an important need that will allow them to continue to serve our communities. A top priority at Texas Mutual is our commitment to safety, so it’s our honor to support emergency service response teams that have the same commitment.” - Rich Gergasko, President and CEO of Texas Mutual
For more information about the grants and how to apply, visit the links below.
Any questions about either grant, please contact Kayla Bridgewaters at email@example.com or 512-628-5054
Please visit our Training Page for updated listings.
Emergency Vehicle Driver Training Instructor Level
This course is designed to teach the instructional methodology to potential and existing instructors needed to deliver the following program. The operator of emergency vehicles in today’s society carries a heavy responsibility. The penalty for not adequately training your operators also carries legal consequences. Emergency vehicle operators and the entities they represent have been held both criminally and civilly responsible for their actions. This program was developed to teach the emergency vehicle operator (EVO) proper driving technique, the mental as well as the physical aspects of the driving task. The program points out the long-term impact of an accident involving an emergency vehicle on the operator, the emergency service organization and the community in which they serve.
Emergency Service UTV/ATV Safety Program Training Instructor Level
This online course is designed to teach the instructional methodology for Emergency Services UTV/ATV Safety.
This program addresses safety topics pertaining to UTVs and ATVs within an ESO fleet including: Importance of safe vehicle operations, the need for continued training, the vehicle operator, protective gear, pre-planning, basic safety and maintenance.
This online training program addresses safety topics pertaining to UTVs and ATVs within an ESO fleet including: Importance of safe vehicle operations, the need for continued training, the vehicle operator, protective gear, pre-planning, basic safety and maintenance.
Our first class is on August 19th, but the class is currently full. We will be adding classes soon. Please reach out to us to get on a waiting list for our next class, or to request other online training classes.
VFIS of Texas NEWS
Here you will find helpful information regarding firefighters, ems responders, and updates in insurance policies.