STATE HEALTH PLAN AVAILABLE FOR FIRE AND RESCUE PERSONNEL
If you are an active firefighter or rescue squad worker or a member of the North Carolina Firefighters’ and Rescue Workers’ Pension Fund, under certain conditions you may be eligible to purchase health coverage for you and your family under the North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees on a fully contributory basis. G.S. 135-48.40(d).
Who may be eligible to participate?
- Members actively serving as firefighters or rescue squad workers and retired members who receive a monthly benefit from the North Carolina Firefighters’ and Rescue Squad Workers’ Pension Fund.
- Dependents of members, including spouses and natural, legally adopted, or foster children up to the end of the month of their 26th
Participation is voluntary, but to be eligible to participate you must be:
- Certified by your Fire Department, Rescue Squad, or Emergency Medical Services Unit Head/Administrator.
- Ineligible for any other comprehensive group health insurance coverage, including Medicare, CHAMPUS, or other uniformed services benefits.
- Without coverage under a comprehensive group health benefit plan for at least 6 consecutive months.
See the attached rate sheet for a breakdown of monthly premium rates associated with the Plan’s 2017 coverage options.
For more information regarding coverage options, enrollment, and eligibility visit shp.nctreasurer.com or contact the North Carolina State Health Plan at 855-859-0966.
News on Your Public Safety Answering Points (Communication Centers)
Greg Hauser represents the NC Fire Service on the State 911 Board. In an effort to keep the fire service engaged and make local dispatch centers effective for the fire service, he suggest involvement at the local level by fire officers in the operation of the dispatch center. Here is an update on the 911 Board and some questions for you to consider.
Does Your Local PSAP (Public Safety Answering Points) Use EFD Protocols?
NCSFA Members are encouraged to find out if their local PSAP (911 Call Centers) uses dispatch standards and protocols. These protocols are extremely important and should be followed by all involved in emergency dispatch situations. There are many different types of protocols (Emergency Fire Dispatch ((EFD)), APCO, etc) and each may determine how fire services are dispatched.
PSAP Manager Training:
Training will soon be available for PSAP managers. This newly created program will focus on educating current PSAP about the history, trends, processes and technology in the Public Safety Communications industry. The training was created in cooperation with the 911 Education Committee and Richmond Community College. The program will be an 8-month program. To insure your department is getting the most from your dispatch centers, urge your PSAP manager to get involved.
State PSAP Allocations: Is the Strained Funding Model Degrading Your PSAP’s Effectiveness?
PSAP funding for allowable items is becoming strained in North Carolina. Have your Fire Service Command Staff become engaged with their PSAP managers to ensure dispatch services are not being degraded. If not funded properly, the County/agency may be responsible for finding the necessary funds to support the PSAP. This has the potential to degrade your PSAP’s ability to provide effective fire dispatch services.
Standards for PSAP’s
Nine (9) people were recently approved for the first class of reviewers and their PSAP training will begin in the coming year. Beginning in July 2017, all PSAP will be required to undergo an evaluation of their processes, procedures, technology and fall pack plans. Across NC only 2 PSAP’s are without approved backup plans, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Franklin County (Franklin County is very close to having their plan approved). The 911 Board Chair is looking into the five (5) PSAP’s that failed during Hurricane Matthew so that they can be turned into teaching opportunities. Finally, PSAP allocations were approved by the board and NCSFA members can go to http://it.nc.gov/nc911board to see their allotment.
The Gatlinburg Firefighters Association has established the Gatlinburg Public Safety Employees Wildfire Relief Fund to aid those Gatlinburg Firefighters and Police Officers who lost their homes and contents in the fire, which in part spread from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park into the eastern Tennessee resort city of Gatlinburg. The fire burned about 1,000 buildings in Sevier County, including hundreds in Gatlinburg, killed 13 people and injured about 85 people.
Donations should be made payable to The Gatlinburg Public Safety Employees Wildfire Relief Fund, Account # 1090021864. Donations may be mailed to
Smartbank, ATTN: Gatlinburg Public Safety Employees Wildfire Relief Fund,
PO Box 1910, Pigeon Forge Tennessee 37868.
Electronic transfers may be sent to Smartbank. The routing number for this fund is 064209216.
For additional information contact Kandra McCarter Phone: (865) 936-7130; Daniel Lindbert (865) 430-8687 or David Puckett (865) 712-0726