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 email@example.com.
If you are a young volunteer and have joined an Emergency Service Organization (ESO) that offers a Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP), it is likely that you have been asked to complete paperwork to put a life insurance policy in place on your behalf. If so, you may have been putting it off because you have a thousand other things to do.
It is important to remember that your ESO’s LOSAP was custom-designed to meet the unique needs of your organization. Very basically, the LOSAP provides active volunteers with benefits in the event of death, disability and retirement. To a young person, retirement seems a lifetime away. However, since most LOSAP plans provide a death benefit, there is immediate financial protection available for you and your loved ones.
Sudden tragedies know no age limitations. In the event of your untimely death, a death benefit offered by the LOSAP provides significant financial relief to your family no matter what the cause of death.* You do not have to die in the line of duty to qualify for a death benefit provided by the LOSAP. You are never too young to look out for your friends and family. Take the time to become an active participant in your LOSAP by completing a life insurance application today and remember to keep your beneficiary designation current! What you do now will affect your loved ones later.
For more information on Length of Service Awards Program and to contact us, CLICK HERE.
*Certain policy exclusions may apply
MORE INFO: VFIS Benefits News (FALL 2013)
Did you know there is a growing threat of cyber liability to emergency service organizations?
Click on the infographic from VFIS to learn cyber statistics, the average cost per breach and more.
Print this infographic by clicking here.
Use this infographic on your site, just follow the instructions below.
VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company are proud to sponsor a need-based grant program for fire departments in Texas. Grants will be awarded to reimburse departments for the cost of certification dues/fees and/or travel expense to attend training which is recognized and/or leads toward a certification. Grants up to $2,500 will be awarded based on financial need and are intended to encourage all departments to participate in certification programs and training which will prevent firefighter deaths and injuries. Departments will need to apply for the grant, expend the funds and then send in copies of receipts or proof of training attendance in order to receive the grant funds. The deadline to submit your Firefighter Safety & Training Grant Application is December 31, 2013.
Who is eligible:
Part I (Certification Dues) – Departments whose members are not currently participating in a certification program.
Part II (Travel Expenses) – Any department attending training that is recognized or leading to a certification.
What is eligible:
Part I – SFFMA Individual dues allowing for participation in the certification program and tracking of training objectives toward firefighter certification or TCFP certification fees.
Part II - Reimbursement for travel expenses (up to $150 per day per person) for training that leads toward or is required by a certification program (travel to/from, meals/tips, hotel/dorm).
How it works:
Departments can apply for Part I, Part II or Both.
Departments should apply for assistance first (completed grant application and W9).
Applications will be reviewed and notice will be sent to those awarded a grant.
Departments will then be responsible for sending in paid certification dues receipts or paid travel receipts and course completion certificates for each student attending the requested training program in order to receive reimbursement
How to Apply:
CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT THE FIREFIGHTER SAFETY & TRAINING GRANT APPLICATION FORM.
SUBMIT COMPLETED APPLICATION FORM USING ANY OF THREE METHODS BELOW.
VFIS of Texas
3420 Executive Center Dr, #301
Austin, TX 78731
Fax to: 512-448-9929
E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline to submit your application is December 31, 2013.
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.
Starting September 1, 2013, all newly enrolling or re-enrolling ambulance providers must obtain a surety bond in the amount of $50,000 for each enrolled location. Newly licensed providers seeking to obtain credentials under Texas Medicaid and those who must re-enroll or choose to re-enroll now must obtain this bond when submitting their application. Those providers who do not need to enroll today may wait to obtain this bond until re-enrollment is required.
This new requirement does not apply to ambulance providers that are directly operated by a governmental entity.
If your organization is in need of this bond, we can help with the application process. Please contact us at 800-252-9435 or email email@example.com.
To read the full press release from the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership along with their contact info, download the .PDF below.
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.
Liquor liability represents a significant exposure to the Emergency Service Organization (ESO). In recent years, both the frequency of claims involving this coverage, as well as the severity of the awards, have increased dramatically.
If the insured is involved in any of the following activities, a full evaluation of the operation and controls should be made.
1. Private Club
3. Social hall where alcoholic beverages are sold, distributed, or managed by the insured, (whether licensed or not).
4. Social hall where alcoholic beverages are provided by lessee and distributed or managed by the insured.
5. Continuing or ongoing special events, such as summer softball leagues, where alcoholic beverages are sold.
6. Individual special events with beer or liquor sales.
Examples of Past Claims
Social member of VFC left the bar with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent. Claimant involved in auto accident with severe injuries. Reserve of $300,000.
After leaving a picnic/party sponsored by the insured fire company, claimants were involved in an automobile accident. One of the injuries resulted in death. Beer, liquor, and wine were served on a cash basis. The driver of the vehicle was under twenty-one. Claimants brought suit under liquor liability; current reserve at $265,000.
The following areas/topics should be discussed with ESO and evaluated with comments made pertaining to the evaluation:
Full Service Bar/Club or Social Hall
1. Does the ESO operate with or without a license?
2. Is a license required?
3. Does the ESO have a written Alcoholic Beverage Management Policy? (If yes, review it for adequacy—use VFIS standard recommendation for comparison.)
4. Estimate of receipt for beverage sales?
5. Hours of operation?
6. Have the bartenders received any server awareness training (i.e., TIPS or TAM)? How many? Copies of certificates obtained?
7. If associated with social hall rentals only, who purchases, manages, and distributes the beverages?
1. When is the event held? For how long?
2. Is a license or permit required?
3. Does the ESO have written procedures for controlling the alcoholic beverage exposure?
4. How are beverages purchased? (Cash by the drink? Tickets or coupons? Free with purchase of mug or glass?)
5. Is there a controlled area for consumption?
6. Estimate of liquor receipts?
1. How many times per year is there an alcohol exposure associated with a rental operation?
2. Is there a person from the ESO responsible for serving the alcoholic beverages?
3. Have members who are serving alcoholic beverages received any server awareness training (i.e., TIPS or TAM)?
4. Does the ESO verify the age of all youthful guests prior to serving any alcoholic beverages?
5. Does the ESO discourage guests who exhibit signs of intoxication from driving, by offering alternate means of transportation (i.e., taxi or designated drivers)?
6. Does the ESO utilize a rental agreement containing a hold harmless or release of liability clause in conjunction with these rentals?
The Texas Rural Volunteer Fire Department Insurance Program is a grant program funded by the Texas State Legislature by HB3667. It provides funding to rural volunteer fire departments for the purchase of Workers’ Compensation and/or Accident & Sickness coverage. For 2013, the reimbursement is up to $105 per firefighter. This program is administered by the Texas Forest Service.
The deadline for submitting your reimbursement forms is August 31st or when the allocated funds are depleted. Don't delay turning in your information.
Click on the forms below to download:
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 Dennis Gage, 2013 SFFMA State Firefighter of the Year and to Ed Konick, 2013 SFFMA State EMS Responder of the Year! Click the picture above to see more pics from the event or click HERE.
VFIS of Texas NEWS
Here you will find helpful information regarding firefighters, ems responders, and updates in insurance policies.