In This Issue

Member Workshops

PRIMA Web Seminar

Online Portal


Safe Tips for Extension Cords

Lawn Mower Safety

Tennessee Trivia

Q. According to the 2017-2018 Tennessee Bluebook, what is the official state community theater of Tennessee?

Click here for the answer

Message from the President

Dawn Crawford

Dear member,

Not a day that goes by that I don’t receive an article related to cybersecurity. A recent article written by Dan Lohrmann had some good advice on beginning the process of evaluating the security within your organization.

While there are lots of things to consider, there are seven things
to make sure you do, and three things to be certain to avoid.
Those items include:


  • Assess your organizational, network and system risk status. Where’s your data? What’s encrypted? Is data backed up properly? Run an early penetration test on a key system.
  • Deliver low-hanging fruit quickly, produce results in 100 days. Consider adding or improving security awareness training for end users for a quick win that builds confidence and helps the security culture. Also, close a few audit findings.
  • Build the right team. Focus on talent and relationships. Surround yourself with security pros that work well together, and cover skill set weaknesses.
  • Have lunch with key customers and staff. Walk around and meet people on the front lines.
  • Run a tabletop exercise to test your incident response plan. Be sure to include business executives.
  • Start building your overall security plan, including key cyber projects. Have an outline or rough draft completed within 100 days. This will help with budgets and buy-in from management.
  • Find a good mentor with relevant security leadership experience to guide you. If possible, talk with your predecessor.


  • Don’t become “Dr. No.” You’re ready to use your newly acquired security power to shut down all the bad things that are going on in your enterprise, but be careful. Despite the urge to get the hammer out, you don’t want to be known as the party pooper. Set a goal to be known as an enabler of secure technology and innovation.
  • Don’t offer only one way to secure systems. Try to offer at least three options to business areas on big projects. Think gold, silver or bronze alternatives.
  • Don’t stay focused internally for too long. Reach out to partners in the public and private sectors, and build relationships with groups like the Information Systems Security Association, InfraGard or NASCIO to help. The MS-ISAC can even help find a mentor.

As cyber attacks evolve daily, it is critical to identify what good security is and to defend against the threats of such attacks.

Good luck to us all,

Dawn Crawford signature
Dawn R. Crawford


Member Workshop: Handling Workers’ Compensation Claims
from an Employer’s Perspective

This workshop is approved for 5 hours of CMFO credit in the financial category

Are you responsible for handling workers’ compensation claims for your entity?

If so, do you:

  • Need a more efficient way to handle a first report of injury?
  • Ever have a question when completing a wage statement for an injured employee?
  • Know the requirements for providing a Panel of Physicians form?
  • Have an interest in workers’ compensation legislation?

These issues and questions — and many more ― will be addressed at Public Entity Partners’ upcoming workshop, “Handling Workers’ Compensation Claims from an Employer’s Perspective,” which will be held at various locations across Tennessee beginning Feb. 27 through March 14.

The workshop will focus on essential information for employers, including:

  • Proper reporting of a work injury;
  • Employer obligations when a work injury is reported;
  • Documentation and investigation of a workers’ compensation claim;
  • Information employers need to provide to Public Entity Partners;
  • The general process of a workers’ compensation claim;
  • The most common mistakes made in handling workers’ compensation claims;
  • Return-to-work issues; and
  • The legal process that concludes a workers’ compensation claim.

Additionally, updates will be provided on:

  • Notable workers’ compensation cases;
  • Workers’ compensation law for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 2014; and
  • Rules enacted in 2018.

The workshops will be presented by Jennifer Orr Locklin, attorney. For more than 10 years, Jennifer has handled all workers’ compensation cases for Farrar & Bates, LLP, located in Nashville. She regularly advises Public Entity Partners and clients across Tennessee on the proper handling of workers’ compensation claims.


9 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Lunch will be provided.)


Dates / Locations:

Wednesday, Feb. 27

Spring Hill: Northfield Center
5000 Northfield Lane
Spring Hill, TN 37147


Thursday, Feb. 28

City of Gallatin: City Hall
Dining Hall 132 West Main Street
Gallatin, TN 37066


Wednesday, March 6

Atoka Town Hall
334 Atoka Munford Avenue
Atoka, TN 38044


Thursday, March 7

Jackson, MTAS Office
605 Airways Boulevard
Jackson, TN 38301


Tuesday, March 12

City of Kingsport
V.O. Dobbins, Sr. Complex, Douglass Room
301 Louis Street
Kingsport, TN 37660


Wednesday, March 13

Knoxville Public Works Complex
Community Room
3131 Morris Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37909


Thursday, March 14

Chattanooga Family Justice Center
5707 Uptain Road
Chattanooga, TN 37411


Call or email Heather Hughes



For questions about the workshop, please contact
Heather Hughes or Callie Westerfield

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PRIMA Webinar Series

Ever wondered how to start building your entity’s risk management and loss control program? “Essential Elements of Public Entity Loss Control” is a five-part webinar series developed by the Public Entity Risk Management Association (PRIMA). This webinar series is designed to walk participants through the loss control process, from the philosophy behind the loss control effort to developing, implementing and improving your program.

All Public Entity Partners members can access the webinars through the links below or by logging into their Local Government Risk Academy accounts. Through Local Government Risk Academy, Public Entity Partners members can also make these webinars available to any of their employees.

LC101: Loss Control Mission & Philosophy
LC102: Identify & Analyze Exposure to Loss
LC103: Examine & Select Your Loss Control Alternatives
LC104: Implement Your Selected Loss Control Technique
LC105: Monitor & Improve Your Loss Control Results

The first webinar from this five-part series, “LC101 — Loss Control Mission & Philosophy,” is presented by Michael G. Fann, director of loss control for Public Entity Partners, and is currently available through Local Government Risk Academy. The remaining webinars will be forthcoming soon.

PRIMA offers educational programing, risk resources and networking opportunities specifically for public sector risk managers, and works with over 1,200 entities across the country. The association’s mission is to promote effective risk management in the public interest as an essential component of public administration. Visit to learn more about PRIMA and the resources they offer.

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Online Portal

Public Entity Partners’ online portal is designed to be a resource to our members.

Through the portal, members are able to:

  • File claims electronically for all lines of coverage
  • Print a temporary pharmacy card for the initial fill of prescriptions for a workers’ compensation claim
  • Access more than 50 quick Safety Talks on topics from safe operation of power saws to work zone traffic safety
  • View all of their entity’s claims, adjuster contact information and claims statistics
  • View presentations from the Risk & Insurance Symposium
  • Access loss control resources and recommendations, including commonly used loss control guidelines

Visit to login to the online portal or register for an account. If you have questions about the portal or would like to learn more, please reach out to your member services representative.

East Tennessee
Wayne Anderson

Middle Tennessee
Callie Westerfield

West Tennessee
Celeste Taylor

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Local governments frequently receive requests from the public and third parties to use their properties and facilities. Since third parties are not covered under local governments’ insurance programs, it is important to require third-party facility users to provide proof of liability coverage that names your entity as additional insured. These policies protect the third-party user and the facility against claims by guests who may be injured while attending an event.

The Tenant User Liability Insurance Program (TULIP) is a general liability policy that protects the “tenant user” (third party) and the local government. The policy is written in the tenant user’s name and also insures the local government. Third-party property damage is included in the policy. Public Entity Partners provides all members with access to TULIP, which offers third-party facility users a mechanism for quickly obtaining a liability policy, and also ensures that you receives a certificate of insurance naming your entity as an additional insured.

Host liquor liability can also be endorsed onto the policy. TULIP helps ensure that third-party facility users are presented with an opportunity to obtain low-cost liability coverage that protects them and the local government. The premium costs are covered by the third-party users. Public Entity Partners members who sign up for TULIP are provided with a one-page flyer to distribute to tenant users. This flyer provides instructions to tenant users on how to purchase a policy.

Common events covered through TULIP include:

  • Festivals
  • Wedding receptions
  • Holiday events and parties
  • Banquets
  • Reunions
  • Non-professional sporting events

Visit to learn more about TULIP or obtain a quote for an event. Please review all policy terms, conditions and exclusions. If your entity would like to make the TULIP program available to your third-party facility users, contact your member services representative.

East Tennessee
Wayne Anderson

Middle Tennessee
Callie Westerfield

West Tennessee
Celeste Taylor

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Safe Tips for Extension Cords

(Information provided through Public Entity Publication – Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.)

Accident Data

  • The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 4,000 people are treated in emergency rooms each year because they were injured while using extension cords.
  • Half the injuries involve fractures, lacerations, contusions or sprains from people tripping over extension cords.
  • About 3,300 residential fires start with extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring about 270 others. The most frequent causes are short-circuiting, overloading, damage and/or misuse of extension cords.


  • Use an extension cord indoors only if it is not marked for outdoor use. The Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label will tell you if it is okay for outdoor use.
  • Inspect the cord before you use it. Look for areas that are cracked or frayed. If you find any, dispose of the cord.
  • Match up the right extension cord with the wattage rating on the appliance or tool that you are using. The cord with will have a wattage rating on it. Be sure that your cord doesn’t have a lower rating than what is required for the appliance or tool.
  • Make sure the appliance or tool is off before you plug it into the cord.
  • Make sure the plug is fully inserted in the outlet.
  • Replace the outlet if the plug is too loose. The outlet may be too old.
  • Match up the outlet and the cord. Some cords are polarized; one prong on the plug is larger than the other.


  • Run extension cords through doorways or through holes in ceilings, walls or floors.
  • Remove, bend or modify any of the metal parts of the cord’s plug.
  • Plug a three-prong plug into a two-hole cord.
  • Force a plug into an outlet.

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Lawn Mower Safety

Did you know the best place to start for lawnmower safety is with the operator’s manual provided by the manufacturer of your equipment? This manual will inform you about any safety features or limitations. Our casualty loss control consultants frequently see mowers operated by someone who is not utilizing the safety features of the equipment they are operating. This is dangerous and can directly lead to injury.

You should never disable or alter the safety features on your equipment. Guards, shields, deflectors, automatic shutoffs and warning decals are on the equipment for the protection of the operator and any individuals who may be around the equipment while it is in operation. If the mower you are using has a roll bar, always make sure it is in the correct position.

Another key to mowing safety is to wear appropriate footwear and clothing, including long pants. Loose clothing or jewelry could become tangled in/on the equipment and cause an injury. Eye protection is also recommended.

Take into consideration the conditions that are present when you are mowing. If grass is wet from dew or rain, use added caution. When mowing sloped areas, always mow across a slope, never up and down. Be aware of the steepness of the slope you must mow and NEVER mow an area with a slope that is greater than 20 percent. Check the operator manual for recommendations to prevent tipping and to determine the greatest slope that can safely be mowed with your equipment. Each manufacturer will have different specifications.

Training employees on how to properly use equipment, and on understanding the equipment’s safety features and limitations, is critical for keeping them safe. If you have questions about your safety program or steps you can put in place to protect your employees, please reach out to your casualty loss control consultant.

East Tennessee
Judy Housley

Middle Tennessee
Chester Darden

West Tennessee
Paul Chambliss

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Tennessee Trivia

Q: According to the 2017-2018 Tennessee Bluebook, what is the official state community theater of Tennessee?

A. The Oak Ridge Playhouse.