Sexual harassment should be an issue of concern to all fire service & EMS managers. It is extremely important for the emergency service organization to implement and disseminate a clear no tolerance policy for sexual harassment and inform all members of the available avenues of internal complaint. The organization must also prepare itself to promptly investigate all sexual harassment allegations and take appropriate remedial action to ensure harassment stops and discipline is administered.
Sexual harassment is discriminatory behavior prohibited under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and many state and local laws. Fire service leaders, therefore, must incorporate a plan of action that includes comprehensive training to help personnel understand the importance and implications of sexual harassment. Inaction and "pseudo-reaction" (a halfhearted or insincere response) are not choices for dealing with this contemporary problem, which is not going to go away and which calls for immediately replacing some long-held myths with substantial and reliable information. An organization`s underlying philosophy should reflect a commitment to making the workplace a safe and non-disruptive environment free of any form of discrimination or harassment. Harassment attitudes and behaviors must be explored, and training and effective policies to control future occurrences must be implemented. Undoubtedly, insecurity may surface when a supervisor ignorant of prevailing social standards is forced to deal with issues relating to sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment & abuse is not solely dedicated to women either. It is important for agencies to protect employees, volunteers and others associated with the organization from wrongdoing. Prevention of sexual abuse or misconduct is especially important where organizations are engaged in activities with minors. Organizations that supervise or work with minors are under a legal and moral obligation to protect against sexual abuse and misconduct.
To help your organization aid in the prevention of proper handling of sexual harassment & abuse, please utilize the following resources:
1) SAMPLE Sexual Abuse and Misconduct Prevention Policy
2) Sexual Harassment-Employee Practice Exposure Risk Communique
3) "Sexual Abuse & Misconduct: Protection of Minors/Youth" Risk Communique
Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it is extending the temporary moratoria on the enrollment of new ground ambulance suppliers in the Philadelphia and Houston regions. Both enrollment suspensions are being extended for another six (6) months, effective January 29, 2015.
The enrollment moratorium in Houston has been in place for a year and a half, and the ban in Philadelphia has been in place for a year. Both enrollment freezes will now extend into the summer of 2015, unless CMS decides to lift them. They apply to newly enrolling ground ambulance suppliers in these regions. The enrollment freezes do not affect enrollment-related changes that current suppliers need to make regarding practice locations, addresses and ownership, and they do not affect revalidations.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) gave CMS the authority to impose a temporary moratorium on the enrollment of new Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP providers and suppliers if CMS determines a moratorium is necessary to combat fraud, waste or abuse. Each time CMS has exercised this authority, it has targeted ground ambulance suppliers.
The title of SFFMA State Firefighter of the Year and SFFMA State EMS Responder of the Year are given to only an elite few. To be nominated for these awards and to be selected from so many is quite an honor.
Each individual nominated for these awards is recognized for their strong values, leadership, vision, heroism and dedication. Congratulations to all of the nominees and to David Wade, 2014 SFFMA State Firefighter of the Year and to James Carr, 2014 SFFMA State EMS Responder of the Year!
The nominees and winners were recognized this past weekend at the SFFMA Conference in Lubbock. Also recognized were all the recipients of the 2014 Firefighter Safety & Training Grant. VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company recently awarded grants of up to $2,500 to 39 volunteer fire departments across Texas. Funds awarded through the Firefighter Safety & Training Grant Program will enable these departments to participate in a certification program and training to support critical workplace safety training.
Fifty-eight volunteer fire departments applied for the grant and the 39 grantees were selected based on their financial needs and the impact the funds would have in their safety and training efforts. VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company partnered with the State Firemen’s & Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas (SFFMA) to manage the application process and select the grant recipients.
The following volunteer fire departments were awarded grants: Bowman Community VFD, Boyd Fire Rescue, China Spring VFD, City of San Diego FD, Clint FD, Cookville VFD, Cottonwood Shores VFD, Crafton VFD, Cresson VFD, Daingerfield FD, Indian Creek VFD, Jamaica Beach VFD, Kaufman VFD, LaRue-New York VFD, Levita FD, Lone Star VFD, Mico VFD, Nevada VFD, Paducah VFD, Pleasant Grove VFD, Possum Kingdom West Side VFD, Rising Star VFD, Rocksprings/Edwards County VFD, Sand Hills VFD, Santa Rosa VFD, Santo Fire and EMS, Six Mile Community VFD, Somervell County Fire, South Ector County VFD, Sunset VFD, Terrell VFD, Tolar VFD, Trout Creek VFD, Turnersville VFD, Village of Pleak VFD, Wayland VFD, Westminster VFD, Whitney VFD and Windthorst VFD.
CONTEST TIME: In honor of 2014 National EMS Week, VFIS of Texas is giving away a Deluxe Response Pack (including Pro Pack, Penlight, Folding Knife, Window Punch, Shears, Mask, & more!) to ONE Lucky Winner! You can enter by clicking here: https://www.facebook.com/VFISofTX/app_192229990808929 or clicking the "#EMSWeek Giveaway" TAB on our Facebook Page.
2014 National EMS Week Giveaway/Contest Winner announced Friday, 5/23/14. Good Luck!
As promised here is a copy of The Power of Social Media PowerPoint we presented during the 2013 State Benefits Summit @ TEEX in College Station. This was designed as a crash course in social media, so it covers the basics as well as best practices for many different social networks. Please feel free to SHARE it with anyone in need, however we ask that you please credit us if doing so. Enjoy! If you have any questions, please e-mail Kash Sarkaria at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the last legislative session, SB8 and HB3556 were passed. SB8 relates to the provision and delivery of certain health and human services in this state, including the provision of those services through the Medicaid program and the prevention of fraud, waste, and abuse in that program and other programs. HB3556 relates to the licensing and regulation of emergency medical services providers.
Attached is a copy of the enrolled text for SB8: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/pdf/SB00008F.pdf
Attached is a copy of the enrolled text for HB3556: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/pdf/HB03556F.pdf
These important EMS legislative changes take effect on September 1, 2013. However, while these new requirements go into effect on September 1, 2013, the DSHS rules are still being finalized.
Karen Pickard of Ovilla is assistant EMS program director at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She is a member of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, EMS Educators and EMS Physicians, State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas, and North Texas Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association. She is a member of the National Society of Executive Fire Officers, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing, National Fire Protection Association EMS Standards Technical Committee, and North Central Texas Regional Advisory Council on Trauma. She is also founder, past president and a current board member of the Dallas Area Crisis Response Team, secretary/treasurer of the North Texas Fire District, and a volunteer for the Ovilla Fire Department EMS Continuing Education Program. Pickard received a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and completed executive fire officer training at the National Fire Academy.
VFIS of Texas NEWS
Here you will find helpful information regarding firefighters, ems responders, and updates in insurance policies.