Texas Mutual is proud to announce that their board of directors has approved a $280 million dividend distribution! This year's record-breaking payout brings the total distribution to $2.5 billion. In 1999, Texas Mutual paid their first dividend and this year marks the 20th year of the program. They are proud to continue this tradition.
Dividends will be mailed to over 50,000 qualifying policyholder owners, including many VFIS of Texas Workers Comp policyholders, beginning in late June. If your department doesn't have Workers Comp, but are interested in a Quote, please contact us at email@example.com or (800) 252-9435. To read Texas Mutual's full press release, please click the link below.
Through an AFG FP&S grant, FIRST is now administering the FOCUS survey on a first-come, first-served basis to 500 fire departments -- career and volunteer – a $10,000 to $15,000 value at NO COST.
Get the new tool to FOCUS your department on a safer culture
The Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) and the Center for Firefighter Injury Research & Safety Trends (FIRST) at Drexel University have partnered to help you FOCUS on your safety culture. FOCUS- the Fire Service Organizational Culture of Safety survey- was developed through the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant R&D Program specifically for the fire service and is a tool that will provide your fire department with objective data to assess your safety culture. A validation study showed for every 10-point increase in FOCUS score, there is on average a...
“...In my heart I believe that we promote a safe culture…, but it was gratifying to see that others in our organization believe this to be true also…I like the fact that I can now put actual numbers to what has previously been a ‘gut feeling’.” – Fire Chief
“We are very appreciative for the insight, and the data gives me a goal to shoot for and a way to measure it. Some of the info I had a gut feeling about, but others were completely a surprise.” – Fire Chief
Now through an AFG FP&S grant, FIRST is administering the FOCUS survey on a first-come, first-served basis to 500 fire departments -- career and volunteer – at no cost.
Interested in administering FOCUS?
Fill out this WORKSHEET (you’ll need to enter the data online, so doing it before will save you time)
Filled out the Worksheet?
Submit your information online HERE
PLEASE NOTE: Only one entry per fire department will be accepted (i.e. Chief, Commissioner, Safety Officer). In addition, FIRST strongly encourages departments to involve their IAFF Local in FOCUS Assessment, if applicable.
Need additional information about FOCUS & what’s involved in assessment? CLICK HERE
After administering the FOCUS survey your fire department will receive:
“This training takes you into the world of data and science. Learning to understand data and science allows departments to go deeper into the world of safety. In time this will allow facts to be the rule in place of opinion or theory.” – FOCUS Culture Camp Participant
“I believe the part where we broke down the data for our organization was the most enjoyable. It helped me understand more about my organization and what I must do when I return home to prepare our people for the future of improving our safety culture. It showed me that the people are the ones that create the safety culture in any organization.”– FOCUS Culture Camp Participant
Please direct any questions to either of the following FIRST Team members:
Senior Project Manager
Outreach & Communications Manager
The FIRST Center website: www.drexel.edu/dornsife/FIRST
FDSOA’s Website: https://www.fdsoa.org/
Having a claim on one of your insured vehicles can be frustrating. However, what can be even more frustrating is when you discover unsatisfied repairs on your vehicle after you get it back from the shop and after VFIS has already paid out a claim to you. This can be incredibly disheartening when you have to send your vehicle back to the manufacturer for repair, which could end up taking months, and could come at the expense of your department if the claim has already been paid and no additional damage been found. We've noticed events like this occurring much more frequently that they should. Therefore, we advise you to do a walk-around of your vehicle after it is repaired or to call the manufacturer to follow up with any questions before you receive the vehicle back, just to ensure that all necessary repairs were done effectively and correctly. The extra time taken here can help you avoid the extra headaches and costs associated with further repairs.
You can download a Vehicle Preventative Maintenance Risk Communique below, or if you need to add a vehicle to your Policy, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 448-9928.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, especially in the Emergency Services field, but is oftentimes neglected. All First Responders are encouraged to attend these sessions at Randall County Fire Dept. Station 1 in Amarillo, TX on April 2nd & 3rd. #MentalHealth #SickNotWeak
Contact Jeremy Baker @ email@example.com or (806) 679-8243 if you have any questions.
VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company Award More Than $233K in Grants to Texas Emergency Responders
Congratulations to the 2018 Emergency Responder Health & Wellness Grant Recipients!
VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company are pleased to announce they have awarded grants of up to $5,000 to 78 emergency responder organizations across Texas. Funds awarded through the 2018 Emergency Responder Health & Wellness Grant Program totaled more than $233,000 and will enable these organizations to implement or enhance a health and wellness program for their members to prevent on-duty deaths and injuries.
105 applications were received requesting more than $447,000 in grants. 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.
“I believe that with this grant we can get everyone fired up about some physical fitness!!” said Barry Mitchell, Assistant Chief of Kountze Volunteer Department. “Many members have wanted to do this for health reasons and for the comradery it brings. This will benefit several of my firefighters that have some significant health issues. The closest "GYM" is 15 miles away in another city and the "Big Box" gyms, as I call them, are over 25 miles away. So as you can see, going to the gym takes a lot more time and money than most people. This will give a benefit to our members that is wanted and needed.”
Each recipient submitted an application outlining a specific need or project the grant would fund. This is the fifth 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 health and wellness, better preparing them to serve our communities,” Barbara Marzean, President of VFIS of Texas, said. “The more we can do to support these initiatives, the more we can reduce and prevent emergency responder injuries and deaths.”
Grant recipients will be recognized at the SFFMA Annual Conference June 23-27, 2018 in Arlington.
See a full list of 2018 Emergency Responder Health & Wellness grant recipients below:
The 2019 Emergency Responder Health & Wellness Grant should open for submissions in Fall 2018.
CYBER LIABILITY POLICY & CYBER SECURITY RESOURCES FOR EMERGENCY SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS
Emergency Service Organizations often handle personal information related to residents, businesses and patients, as well as their own employees. More and more often this information is stored electronically. Billing information, social security numbers, health information, human resources, and legal records are examples of electronic files that need to be secure and confidential. Additionally, Email has evolved into a mission critical business function for many organizations and for this reason, it has also become the primary mechanism used by Cyber Criminals to gain access to protected systems.
Utilize the following resources to ensure your department is taking the necessary steps to be protected from Cyber threats:
• Cyber Security Self-Assessment: http://bit.ly/1niFISF
• Help Identify "Phishing" Emails: http://bit.ly/2BRku54
• Data Breach Precautions Risk Communiqué: http://bit.ly/2E66U31
• Email Fishing Precautions Risk Communiqué: http://bit.ly/2DWT9jR
• Cyber Liability Infographic: http://bit.ly/2Ebsyme
Cyber Liability and Privacy Crisis Management coverages are included with your VFIS Management Liability Policy, but the Management Liability Policy is an optional add-on to our standard Package Policy. If you are unsure if you have this coverage or not, please contact our offices at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 252-9435 to ensure your department is fully protected from Cyber threats. If you are not a client, contact us and we can provide you a Free Quote.
We've received a lot of questions & requests pertaining to Fire & EMS personnel installing smoke detectors for civilians.
Homeowner should be advised that the smoke detectors are not your products, that you are installing them as a courtesy. The box and warranty information should be returned to the homeowner. Advise them that they should read the manual etc, and if they have a question, they should contact the manufacturer.
For Fire Department installations, there should be two members working together, installing the smoke detectors and the members should stay together the whole time so there is never a member alone in the house and they are witness to each other’s behavior. Members should not be alone with children or be in a room where someone is in a bed. Beds should be empty before you enter a bedroom.
Pets need to be restrained before you enter the home. This is to protect their pets,(There was an instance where someone’s dog went out the front door and was hit by a car.) as well as to protect you.
The HB 3667 Grant program provides reimbursement grants for Texas firefighters to obtain workers compensation, death and disability insurance from private insurance companies. Each year more than 400 fire departments and 11,000 firefighters take advantage of the grant offering.
Any chartered, non-profit volunteer or part-paid/volunteer fire department is eligible, provided the number of paid members is 20 or less. Any combination of compensation insurance for firefighters (workers' compensation, death, and/or disability insurance) is eligible & the program will reimburse 100% of the actual cost of eligible insurance coverage, up to a maximum of $155.00 per fire department member covered in the calendar year 2017. The insurance coverage must include a workers' compensation or similar benefit, and a death benefit.
If your department needs reimbursement for Workers' Compensation or Death & Disability Insurance, we highly encourage you to take advantage of this grant. You can apply by clicking the link below.
APPLY FOR GRANT
Over the past couple weeks, we drove around Texas delivering Hurricane Harvey claim checks to departments affected by the storm, including Fulton VFD & Lamar VFD (Both Pictured). Both departments are in Aransas County, which was heavily affected.
We also delivered claim checks to Cy-Fair VFD & Harris County ESD 48 (Both pictured).
We understand many of the hardships so many departments had to go through during Hurricane Harvey and we're here to help. If the need ever arises to file a claim, contact our Claims Specialist Cherry Guidry at email@example.com or (512) 628-5184.
It's been one whole year since we took over the reigns of Regnier & Associates and started anew as WinStar Insurance Group. What a great and successful year it has been! This past weekend, we had our 1 Year Anniversary Celebration at Cover 3 here in Austin. Many thanks to all who showed up and shared in the celebration. We look forward to continue working with all of you for many years to come.
VFIS of Texas NEWS
Here you will find helpful information regarding firefighters, ems responders, and updates in insurance policies.