City of Williamsburg Fire Department uses VMLIP grant to purchase vehicle stabilization equipment

By Kaitlyn Rice

On July 15, 2010 a 2009 black Chevy Tahoe in Williamsburg was hit by an oncoming car that failed to stop at a stop sign.  The Tahoe, an unmarked police cruiser, flipped three times.

The impact left the Tahoe almost unrecognizable.  The officer in the Tahoe was wearing his seatbelt and was lucky to survive.

As a result of this traffic accident, the City of Williamsburg Fire Department recognized the need for additional vehicle stabilization equipment.    

“The overturned vehicle was susceptible to shifting, putting everyone involved at a greater risk for injury.  This event was a wakeup call for us to look into purchasing additional equipment,” said Pat Dent, fire chief for the City of Williamsburg.

Stabilization equipment allows responders to quickly secure the vehicle so their focus can be placed on extricating the victim safely and providing the necessary treatment.  When the time came for the department to purchase more equipment they realized they needed additional funding to expand their vehicle stabilization kit.  

To do so they turned to the VML Insurance Programs (VMLIP) Risk Management Grant. Each year the grant makes substantial funding available to assist members in purchasing vital equipment and training to fortify their risk management programs. This year’s available grant funds totaled $200,000.   Additional funds will be available to VMLIP members in July, 2012.

The VMLIP Risk Management Grant was used by the City of Williamsburg to support the purchase of the vehicle stabilization kit.

City of Williamsburg firefighters being trained to use vehicle stabilization equipment

“This equipment was a perfect fit for the Risk Management Grant because of its potential to eliminate work-related injuries from working in or around unstable vehicles during passenger extrication,” said Beth Rosenthal, director of safety services for VMLIP. 

“A safer work environment is the direct result of the use of equipment such as this.  Reduction of claims at the member level means a reduction of claims for the pool.”

Dent added that “The equipment will help have a huge impact on the city because it not only protects the victims during the extrication process, but also keeps the first responders safe.”

VMLIP offers more than just coverage.  We are partners in risk management.  How does your insurer stack up?  Having all lines of coverage with VMLIP ensures that your organization is receiving comprehensive coverage and a wide variety of value-added services tailored to Virginia’s local governmental entities.  Call for a quote today: (800) 963-6800.

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About VML Insurance Programs

Director of Communications, VML Insurance Programs
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