In This Issue


2017 Risk & Insurance Symposium

Safety Partners Grant Applications

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plans

De-Escalation Training Through Interactive Simulator

Survey Shows Disconnect

July is National UV Safety Month


Tennessee Trivia

Q. In what Tennessee town was actor Anson Adams Mount IV born on February 25, 1973? (He is currently starring in the AMC television show "Hell on Wheels.")

Click Here for the Answer

Message from the President

Dawn

We are less than a month away from our second annual Risk & Insurance Symposium, set for August 23rd - 25th at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs in Franklin, Tennessee! Registration has been tremendous, and many of the sessions are eligible for CMFO credit.

This year’s agenda features a variety of topics, from legal liability to use of prisoners, dealing with the media and ADA. These and numerous other topics can be found here.

All conference attendees are invited to join us for an optional social event, to be held on Wednesday evening at Arrington Vineyards from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. The $25 per person fee for this event includes transportation to and from the winery, Martin’s BBQ and two drink tickets. More information and registration for this event can be found here.

Remember, there is no registration fee to attend the symposium. To register and reserve your hotel room, please visit: http://thepool.xmimeetings.com.

Last month, we announced the formation of a health consortium sponsored by Public Entity Partners. We would like to gauge your interest in the program and are providing a link here to gather contact information. We will also have a session at the Symposium explaining the program and its benefits. We hope to see you there!

Best Regards,
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Dawn R. Crawford
President/CEO

 

2017 Risk & Insurance Symposium

The 2017 Risk & Insurance Symposium will be held Aug. 23 – 25 at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs. Don’t miss out on this free training and education event. If you haven’t registered for the event, please visit https://thepool.xmi.events/ to register and obtain hotel information. A detailed agenda and session descriptions are available, including CMFO credits that will be offered for each session.

For questions about the Symposium or assistance with your registration, please contact Lindsay Barber at lbarber@xmigrowth.com or your member services representative.

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Safety Partners Grant Applications

Safety Partners Grant applications are due by 12 p.m. on Aug. 11, 2017. Make sure you submit your application before the deadline! Visit https://www.PEpartners.org/safetygrant/ to view the application and learn more about what items qualify for this grant. Grants are awarded based on eligibility and the order in which applications are received.

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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plans

Have you finished the transition plan mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? This is a daunting task, to say the least.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), by authorization of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is required to monitor ADA compliance for local governments that receive any transportation funds. ADA compliance is the law for all local governments. The Department of Justice investigates — and can enforce penalties and settlements against — any local government that fails to make all programs, services and facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities. The transition plan is the document that details how the government intends to bring all facilities and programs into full compliance.

Title II of the ADA applies to state and local government entities, and protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability in service, programs and activities provided by state and local governments.

The U.S. Department of Justice has some resources that may help you as you dive into this topic. As a crash course into some of the areas you should be evaluating, the ADA and City Governments: Common Problems website shows real-world examples of common deficiencies, and explains how the problems affect persons with disabilities. To view the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, visit https://www.ada.gov/2010ADAstandards_index.htm.

The U.S. Department of Justice also offers a list of Technical Assistance Publications aimed at helping local governments come into compliance, including a Title II Technical Assistance Manual. This 56-page handbook explains what state and local governments must do to ensure that their services, programs and activities are provided to the public in a nondiscriminatory manner.

Coming into compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act is an ongoing process that should not be taken lightly.

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De-Escalation Training Through Interactive Simulator

By Judy Housley, Loss Control Consultant for Public Entity Partners

Above: Program Manager Jeff Lindsey negotiates with a distraught father to put down his baby, whom he is threatening to harm.

The University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center (a division of the Institute for Public Service), located in Oak Ridge, is now offering “Applied De-Escalation Tactics” training utilizing the VirTra V-300™ interactive simulator.

This eight-hour class, led by law enforcement professionals, includes a half-day of classroom discussion on methods for defusing volatile situations through basic verbal skills and strategies. During the second half of the day, students individually enter the simulator, where de-escalation techniques are applied in one of 140 potential scenarios. The actors in the scenarios verbally respond to commands and react to the demeanor of the officer. The conclusion is determined by the officer’s actions.

While use of a Taser or service weapon is necessary in some scenarios, a successful result can be achieved in most cases through the officer’s words and wisdom. The choice between applying words or weapons to resolve the simulated situation lies solely with the officer. The class concludes with a group discussion of how each participant handled the scenario and why the selected approach was chosen.

The simulator exposes class participants to critical incidents that are commonly encountered on the street, during which snap decisions must be made. It is essential training for a new officer to experience simulated stress-filled encounters prior to their first actual confrontation on the street. It is also beneficial for all officers to participate in discussions on decision-making, communication skills, and why the use of intermediate or deadly force may be required.

The VirTra V-300 training simulator is streamed through multiple projectors onto 300 degrees of screen that basically fills a room. The design eliminates the claustrophobic feel of earlier simulators, and the ability to interact with the actors in the scenarios models a very authentic life event. Each officer will participate in three scenarios and a discussion of the selected approaches.

This training does not subrogate the policies of the city or county that employs the officer, but is meant to help test and evaluate decision-making skills. Each class costs $50 per participant, and class size is limited to 10 participants. For more information, or to schedule this training for your officers, contact Training Coordinator Greg Coker at greg.coker@tennessee.edu.

This training session can be used to fulfill the eight hours of annual in-service firearms training required by POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training), but range qualification for service weapons would still have to be met. In addition, the cost of the classes could be submitted in an application for Public Entity Partners’s Safety Partners Matching Grant, which reimburses up to 50 percent of the cost of approved items. Applications are due by Aug. 11th. For more information about grants, eligibility and submission requirements, check out the Grants and Information link at www.PEpartners.org.

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Survey Shows Disconnect Between Employers, Employees on Cyber Readiness

By Erin Ayers, Advisen

The majority of US businesses say they feel well-prepared to defend outside cyberattacks on their systems and data – but their employees may be proving them wrong, according to Willis Towers Watson’s recent Cyber Pulse survey.

“As the world has seen with the proliferation of phishing scams, most recently highlighted by the global WannaCry ransomware attack, the opening of just one suspicious email containing a harmful link or attachment can lead to a companywide event,” said Anthony Dagostino, WTW head of global cyber risk. “However, there appears to be a disconnect between executive priorities around data protection and the need to invest in a cyber savvy workforce through training, incentives and talent management strategies.”

Despite an increasing number of reports about data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other cyber events, 79 percent of organizations responding to WTW’s survey believe their practices and processes would guard against threats.

WTW warned, however, that corporate confidence might not accurately reflect organizations’ actual ability to prevent cyber events caused by the human element. Most US employees (79 percent) cited lack of understanding as an obstacle to truly managing cyber risk. Nearly half (45 percent) received only 30 minutes or less in cybersecurity training last year, while 25 percent received no training at all.

Lack of employee engagement even with training appears to be a problem. Of those that received cyber training, 61 percent said they only completed it because it was mandatory and 46 percent still believe opening email attachments is always safe. Another 30 percent admit logging into work computers or mobile devices on unsecured public WiFi networks, and only 52 percent of employers feel they have made headway on improving employee cybersecurity training.

“Hackers are exploiting the fact that while corporations are building walls of technology around their organizations and networks, by far the biggest threat to corporate digital security and privacy continues to come from employees within, often completely by accident,” said Dagostino. “A truly holistic cyber risk management strategy requires at its core a cyber savvy workforce; however, organizations first have to know where the vulnerabilities are in order to plug the gaps. Many organizations are facing talent deficiencies and skill shortages in their IT departments, which in turn are creating significant loopholes in their overall security measures.”

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July is National UV Safety Month

Many of us spend the better part of the year looking forward to the summer months. The sunny weather inspires vacation plans, outdoor festivals and activities, along with trips to Public Entity Partners or beach. With so many events taking place, it's easy to overlook safety and prevention. One of the most important things to remember when planning to be outside in the summer is how to protect yourself from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.

July is National UV Safety Month. As we enjoy the beautiful summertime weather, we need to keep in mind several issues about the effects of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. You may be surprised about some of the specific dangers of sun exposure.

While sunshine is the most natural source for Vitamin D, only a small amount of exposure to the sun is required to produce the amount we need each day. Vitamin D has several important functions, but overexposure to the sun can lead to a variety of health risks. Along with sunburn, premature aging of the skin and skin cancers, exposure to UV light can cause vision problems and damage to the structure of our eyes, including the cornea, retina and lens. This can result in the formation of cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye) and pterygium (tissue growth on the surface of the eye), both of which can impair vision. Exposure to UV rays can also weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fend off infections.

There are two main types of UV light: UVA and UVB. UVB is what gives you your sunburn, while UVA rays can make your skin leathery and wrinkly in appearance. (An easy way to remember: "A" is for aging and "B" is for burning.) Both are responsible for some types of skin cancer, but each type of UV light is harmful to you in different ways. UVB rays have short wavelengths that reach the outer layer of your skin, while UVA rays have longer wavelengths that can penetrate the middle layer of your skin. About 95 percent of UV rays from the sun that reach the earth are UVA rays.

The strength of UV rays reaching the ground can depend on a number of factors, such as the time of day, season of the year, distance from the equator, altitude, clouds, reflection off surfaces and contents of the air. UV rays are stronger during spring and summer months, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and at higher elevations. UV rays can bounce off reflective surfaces like water, sand, snow, pavement or grass, leading to an increase in UV exposure. Certain types of clouds can also reflect UV and increase its exposure.

The amount of UV exposure a person receives depends on the strength of the rays, the length of time the skin is exposed, and whether the skin is protected with clothing or sunscreen.

Ways to Prevent UV Damage
There are three simple, everyday steps you can take to safeguard your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation from the sun.

  1. Go for the Shade
    Avoid or limit sun exposure during the hours where the sun’s UV rays are most intense.

  2. Apply a Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen
    Generously apply a water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) value of 15 or higher. The broad-spectrum variety protects against UVA and UVB rays. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, and after swimming and sweating.

  3. Wear Protective Clothing
    Wear clothing that will protect your skin from harmful UV rays, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants, a broad-brimmed hat that shades the face, ears and neck, and UV-resistant sunglasses.

Individuals who may be exposed to artificial sources of UV rays at their jobs should follow appropriate safety precautions, including the use of UV-protective clothing, shields and filters.

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Tennessee Trivia

Q: In what Tennessee town was actor Anson Adams Mount IV born on Feb. 25, 1973?
(He is currently starring in the AMC television show "Hell on Wheels.")

A. White Bluff