FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS

The United Yavapai Firefighters Local 3066 has been a proud part of the Prescott area community for over 25 years. The Local represents over 200 members, including active and retired – firefighters, engineers, captains, dispatchers, fire inspectors, hot shots, and chief officers.  The Local is a member of both statewide and national labor groups.  In the State of Arizona, Local 3066 falls under the umbrella of the Professional Firefighters of Arizona, an organization established in 1967.  Nationwide, all fire locals are a part of the International Association of Firefighters that are proud to say have over 325,000 members in the United States and Canada. This group has been critical in establishing many of the federally mandated safety regulations and NFPA guidelines that help protect our firefighters today.

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The IAFF is urging affiliate presidents to complete our survey tracker to enter data to document exposures among members in their local/fire department. This also helps us to inform the media and legislators so they understand the impact of COVID-19 on our members.

Go to www.iaff.org/coronavirus/#tracking-tool to complete the survey - NOTE: only IAFF affiliate presidents have access to this survey.
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Thank you Chief Freitag for your commitment to do what is right for our members and for fire districts across the state.DISGRACEFUL: First workers comp insurance companies screwed firefighters and cops who get cancer in the line of duty.

Now it's COVID-19.

7710, the only workers comp insurer now available for fire districts, has told districts "they will not cover our personnel who are exposed and contract COVID 19 while serving during the pandemic," according to Scott Freitag, president of the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association.

Here's the text of Chief Freitag's 3/23/20 letter to Arizona legislators:

March 23, 2020

Arizona State Legislators
1700 W Washington St
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Dear Members of the Arizona State Legislature,

On Friday, March 20, 2020, the Arizona State Legislature received a note from Marcus Osborne representing the workers compensation company 7710. With Copperpoint’s sudden departure from the market, 7710 is currently the only workers compensation option for Fire Districts in the state besides the high risk pool.

In the message, Mr. Osborne indicated that they will freeze rates for next year, if you will ensure that SB 1160 does not move forward and if you vote against appropriations for a fire district risk pool. In his correspondence dated March 20th, he states that 7710 had reached out to Fire Districts to let them know 7710 would freeze the rates. That is a false statement. As of late Friday afternoon, neither our agency nor others who currently utilize 7710 had been notified of their intentions.

While the frozen rates sound appealing, the reality is that we are not receiving an appropriate level of service from their company. As an example, leadership of 7710 has told both CAFMA and Arizona Fire and Medical Authority that they will not cover our personnel who are exposed and contract COVID 19 while serving during the pandemic. Their testimony in committees during this session seemed to signal they do not plan to cover firefighter cancers based on the current presumptive laws either.

Ultimately, 7710 has proven to us at CAFMA that they are not committed to providing quality service to our agency or our personnel. We fully believe we can provide a higher quality of service more efficiently under a workers compensation risk pool modeled after the school district pool, county risk pool, and the municipal risk pool. Mr. Osborne provided you some numbers in his Friday correspondence that would make it seem the risk pool for fire districts is reckless. We are working with a third party administrator (TPA) who helped us establish the framework of the pool in 2017 which was approved by the Industrial Commission, and the Arizona Department of Insurance. I do not think those agencies would approve a pool they believed would be insolvent from inception. The TPA we are working with has a long and successful history of running some of the largest pools in the State of Arizona.

In closing, 7710 has been less than forthright with you as our state legislators and with us as their clients. The numbers they’ve provided you lack any supporting data and they seem to change their estimates depending on their audience. Additionally, they are not providing the coverage our firefighters/paramedics deserve especially as they are on the frontlines of the COVID 19 Pandemic. We need an option as our responders deserve better.

Respectfully,

Scott A Freitag

Scott A. Freitag
Fire Chief
President of the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association
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Thank you Chief Freitag for your commitment to do what is right for our members and for fire districts across the state.
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The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery is a one-of-a-kind addiction treatment facility specializing in PTSD for IAFF members – and IAFF members only – who are struggling with addiction, PTSD other related behavioral health challenges to receive the help they need in taking the first steps toward recovery. It is a safe haven for members to talk with other members who have faced or overcome similar challenges.

https://www.iaffrecoverycenter.com