VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company recently awarded $228,000 in grants to 90 emergency responder organizations across Texas. Funds awarded through the 2017 Emergency Responder Safety, Training & Wellness Grant Program will reimburse these organizations for 2017 individual member certification dues, as well as health and wellness programs, and travel costs to attend training.
Grants of up to $5,000 have been awarded based on financial need and are intended to encourage all departments to participate in certification, training and health/wellness programs to prevent emergency responder deaths and injuries.
This is the fourth consecutive year of this grant program sponsored by VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company. Since 2014, close to $500,000 has been distributed to emergency service organizations across the state of Texas. This program has been recognized nationwide among the insurance industry and emergency service community (Insurance Journal).
Alabama Coushatta Indian Nation VFD
Apple Springs VFD
Ata Bexar VFD
Beasley Community VFD
Ben Bolt VFD
Black Jack VFD
Blackjack VFD of Robertson Co
Bowman Community VFD
Brazos Co Precinct 4 VFD
Cash Fire Dept
Castroville Vol Fire Company
Cat Spring VFD
Central Community VFD
Chapel Hill VFD
Chisholm Trail Fire Rescue
City of San Diego FD
Coryell City-Osage VFD
Cottonwood Shores VFD
Cove Fire & Rescue
Davis Mountains Prop Owners VFD
Edwards Co EMS
Elm Mott Fire Rescue
Grand Saline VFD
Hughes Springs VFD
Indian Creek VFD
Iowa Park VFD
Jefferson Co Water District #10 VFD
Justin Community VFD
La Junta VFD
Lakeside City VFD
Morgans Point VFD
Ore City VFD
Plum Grove VFD
Possum Kingdom Westside VFD
Prairie Hill Rocky Hill VFD
Prairie View Vol FF Assn
Preston Vol EMS
Rusk Co Rescue Unit
Silver Creek VFD
South Ector Co VFD
South Polk Co VFD
Southside Henderson Co VFD
Southwest Bell Co VFD
Our VFIS of Texas training program has grown tremendously with the addition of Roy Mercer as our Director of Safety, Training and Education in 2012. Annually, we provide over 80 classes and teach more than 1500 students. In order to continue to provide our quality training programs and to reach as many emergency responders as possible, starting in 2016 we are going to schedule Regional Train-the-Trainer classes in specific regions across the state. The following classes will be available:
• Emergency Vehicle Driver Training (16-hour)
• Emergency Vehicle Response Safety (4-hour)
• Highway Safety (4-hour)
• UTV/ATV (4-hour or 8-hour)
• Firefighter Safety (4-hour)
• POV (4-hour)
The Regional Train-the-Trainer classes will be open to anyone and flyers will be provided to promote the class. The cost for each trainer participant will be $100 for VFIS insureds and $300 for non-VFIS insureds. There will be no cost to the host department. The host department will provide the classroom, parking lot, cones and apparatus/ambulance. If your department is interested in hosting a regional training class, please contact Roy Mercer at email@example.com.
We will also continue to offer on-site Student-level classes as we have done in the past. However, there will now be a $500 flat fee (per day) for VFIS insureds and a $1,500 flat fee (per day) for non-VFIS insureds. These costs may be eligible for reimbursement under HB2604. Click Here for a list of available classes.
We hope that you have taken the opportunity to attend one of our training classes. Our goal is to educate and train emergency personnel to better protect themselves and to reduce their risk of injury or death.
Click Here for more information on our training programs or contact Roy Mercer at 832-473-5414.
VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company Award $150k in Grants to Texas Emergency Responders
VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company recently awarded grants of up to $5,000 to 71 emergency responder organizations across Texas. Funds awarded through the 2016 Emergency Responder Safety, Training & Wellness Grant Program totaled more than $150,000 and will enable these organizations to participate in a certification program, attend critical workplace safety training, and implement training/wellness programs to prevent on-duty deaths and injuries.
Over $600,000 in grant requests were received. VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company partnered with the State Firefighters' & Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas (SFFMA) to manage the application process and select the grant recipients.
“Cardiac events are the leading cause of death among firefighters,” said Martin Ritchey, President of Mid-County Volunteer Fire Department. “Our department wants to be an example for our region in stressing the importance of fitness. We presently lack funds to provide the necessary equipment to achieve our fitness goals. Your grant dollars will be used along with our funds and “sweat equity” to build out a training space at our station #2. Without your funding we could not afford to acquire the equipment necessary for this important task."
Each recipient submitted an application outlining a specific need or project the grant would fund. This is the third consecutive year Texas Mutual and VFIS of Texas have awarded these grants to emergency responders across the state.
“These grants directly impact our emergency responders by improving their safety and wellness, better preparing them to serve our communities,” Barbara Marzean, President of VFIS of Texas, said. “The more we can do to support safety, training and wellness for these emergency service organizations, the more we can reduce and prevent emergency responder injuries and deaths.”
Grantees will be recognized at the SFFMA Annual Conference June 25-29, 2016 in McAllen, Texas.
See a full list of 2016 Emergency Responder Safety, Training & Wellness grant recipients below:
AUSTIN, TX – VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company recently awarded grants of up to $5,000 to 86 volunteer fire departments across Texas. Funds awarded through the Firefighter Safety, Training & Wellness Grant Program totaled more than $144,000 and will enable these departments to participate in a certification program, attend critical workplace safety training, and/or set up training/wellness programs to prevent firefighter deaths and injuries.
Over $300,000 in grant requests were received. VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company partnered with the State Firefighters' & Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas (SFFMA) to manage the application process and select the grant recipients.
“This award will serve as valuable funding that will enable us to better serve our community,” said Dennis Bailey, Lieutenant & Training Coordinator of Sunset Volunteer Fire Department. “This grant, I can assure you, will allow our members to actively pursue formal certification that will develop them into safer firefighters. Thanks again for your contribution to making our community safer."
To see a full list of 2015 Safety, Training & Wellness recipients, CLICK HERE.
Grantees will be recognized at the SFFMA Conference June 12-17, 2015 in Galveston, Texas.
The 14th Annual Central Texas Wildfire Academy is Feb 11-15 in Brownwood, Texas. The event is sponsored by the Texas A&M Forest Service and hosted by the Dam Volunteer Fire Department.
Sign Up By Feb 6th By CLICKING HERE.
Training tuition grants are available through HB2604 and TIFMAS.
The 14th Annual Central Texas Wildfire Academy
February 11 - 15, 2015
Camp Bowie Training Site
5611 FM 45S
Brownwood, TX 76801
All courses are $20/day
This event will provide training to volunteer and agency wildland firefighters. The Central Texas Wildfire Academy is striving to offer a variety of training for all those dedicated to protecting lives and property. The Texas Interagency Wildfire and Incident Management Academies provide training to wildland firefighters from Texas and through the United States to
meet National Wildfire Coordination Group Standards. The Capital Area Academy, held in Bastrop, Texas during the month of October, and the East Texas Academy, during the month of May in Lufkin, Texas, provide classroom and “hands-on” training to more than 800 students in firefighting, supervisory, and prevention techniques.
Don't miss the Guadalupe County Fall Fire School (Sept. 20-21 and Oct. 4-5) in New Braunfels. The school is being brought to you by TEEX, ESTI, The Guadalupe County Firefighter's Association, & The Texas Forest Service. There are a variety of one-day, two-day and two-weekend classes scheduled so there is something for everyone.
Learn more about the Guadalupe County Fall Fire School events and how to attend by CLICKING HERE.
Original Source: FIRE ENGINEERING
By Robert Owens
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease is the leading killer among all men and women in the United States. Some 385,000 Americans die annually from heart disease, with another 715,000 Americans reporting at least one heart attack each year (CDC, 2013). Although these statistics are alarming, there are inherent risks with being a firefighter that increase the potential for cardiac arrest.
According to Dr. Patrick Moriarty, Director of the Atherosclerosis and LDL—Apheresis Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center, a study of 77 firefighters with an average age of 39 years old revealed that most had the plaque buildup of a 52-year-old (Colwell, 2009). This was attributed to stress, sleep deprivation, and high-calorie meals.
Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of medicine and associate chief of the cardiology division at the University of California—Los Angeles led a similar study of firefighters and found that particulates in fire smoke leads to inflammation of arteries, increasing the chance for heart disease or stroke (Colwell, 2009). The study also revealed that, despite an average firefighter age that would be considered “young,” the subjects’ arteries resembled those of people some 13 years older.
Dr. Jim Brown from Indiana University—Bloomington studied Indianapolis, Indiana, firefighters for six months, monitoring their heart rates. Findings included firefighters operating at 100 percent capacity of their hearts for hours, and high heart rates even during sleep not allowing their bodies to reach rapid eye movement (REM) and recover (Brown & Stickford, 2007).
As of this writing, the United States Fire Administration has recorded 16 line-of-duty deaths (LODDs) during 2014, with all but five being heart or cerebrovascular related. What does it all mean?
Simply, firefighters have heart attacks. This concept should be nothing new. The data have been there for years. These events occur at the station, after a shift, and even on the fireground. Although programs such as “Saving Our Own” or “Firefighter Rescue” training focus on calling a Mayday or locating and removing downed firefighters, there is no mention of caring for a firefighter after rescue from the fire environment or when they collapse on scene or at the station.
Just as firefighters face extraordinary factors that influence their potential to experience a heart attack or stroke, dealing with a firefighter in cardiac arrest is not a straightforward event; it takes different skill sets, procedures, resources, and composure to result in good outcomes.
Read the Rest of the Article Here...
VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company Award $45K in Grant Money to Texas Volunteer Fire Departments
AUSTIN, TX – 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.
“We are very fortunate and thankful to VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual for this grant, which will help us pay our 2014 annual membership dues to SFFMA,” said Jack K. Rymer, Fire Chief of Possum Kingdom West Side VFD. “This is a very important association that greatly benefits volunteer fire departments such as ours by providing certified training courses and other training programs to make our department safer and more professional. Like many volunteer fire departments, our department is short on resources and this grant money goes a long way in helping us meet our budget.”
In addition to Possum Kingdom West Side VFD, 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, 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.
Grantees will be recognized at the SFFMA Conference June 6-11, 2014 in Lubbock, Texas.
Brazoria-Fort Bend Counties Instructors Association Field Day
WHEN - February 14-16, 2014
WHERE - Fort Bend Cty Field, 260 Clay Street, Richmond, TX 77469
FEE - Burn Projects: One Day $100 – Both Days $200
- Non-Burn Projects: One Day $85.00 – Both Days $170.00
- Vehicle Extrication Class: $250.00 – Friday at 6PM
WHO - All members of volunteer, paid, or part-paid fire departments of cities and industries who want the latest training in firefighting and related skills.
WHY - To keep abreast of new opportunities and developments in the fire service and gain experience in various fire control and fire protection methods.
To lean more and to register, CLICK HERE.
The importance of proper education & training for fire and emergency personnel can never be understated. The potential risks are just too high to ignore it. Of course, some mishaps are unavoidable, but the better prepared you are to handle any potential calamities, the more likely you are to overcome them and survive them.
The most recent case of an avoidable catastrophe was in Phoenix, AZ
where firefighter Brad Harper was killed at a mulch pile fire scene two months ago after he became pinned between an engine and an ambulance. According to the report, this was a horrible -but preventable- accident. Three errors played a role in what happened: By policy, the Firefighters should have had a spotter when the fire apparatus backed up, and they didn't. The firefighter driving the fire truck should have noticed Harper on the road before moving the rig. And Harper should have seen the fire truck moving towards him. Trapped in such a narrow space, firefighters were afraid to move either truck and hurt Harper even more. It took rescue crews 13 minutes and 22 seconds to extricate Harper, who later died. More info about the incident can be found HERE.
VFIS of Texas provides education & training to fire and emergency stations all over Texas. Many times, these classes are offered for free and or can be fully reimbursed by grant. Our goal is to educate and train personnel to better protect them and to reduce their risk of injury or death. VFIS of Texas offers the following courses:
Emergency Vehicle Driver Training (1-2 Days)
Emergency Vehicle Response Safety (3-4 Hrs)
Dynamics of Emergency Vehicle Response (3-4 Hrs)
Highway Safety (3-4 Hrs)
Intersection Safety (3-4 Hrs)
Rollover Prevention (3-4 Hrs)
Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) Operations (3-4 Hrs)
Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Training (2-3 Hrs)
Art of Reading Smoke (2-3 Hrs)
To learn more about offered training courses and to sign your department up, please visit www.vfistx.com/training.
VFIS of Texas NEWS
Here you will find helpful information regarding firefighters, ems responders, and updates in insurance policies.