belonging to the ACCG Workers’ Compensation Fund and/or the ACCG Property &
Liability Fund can earn significant discounts on their premiums if they
participate in the Safety Discount Program. They can save 7.5 percent and 5 percent (to a
maximum of $10,000) respectively if they meet all of the requirements of the
Safety Discount Program workbook, which is the same for both funds, outlines
these requirements. The 2018 workbook and the associated forms are now
available online and will be delivered to member counties in the near future. Note
that the first page highlights the updates from last year. One improvement
is a newly drafted Return to Work Policy that can be used to help employees
injured on OR off the job with transitional employment in accordance with state
workers’ compensation and federal employment laws.
one of the links below to access the new 2018 Safety Discount Program information (to be
implemented in 2017 for 2018 premiums):
Compensation Safety Discount Program
ACCG Property &
Liability Safety Discount Program
saving money is important, the biggest advantage of a strong safety program is
the health and welfare of the county employees, volunteers, citizens and others
that interact with county government. Contact the ACCG risk control services
(LGRMS) if assistance is needed in meeting the Safety Discount requirements
since their services are included for Fund members: 678-686-6279 or 800-650-3120.
Firefighters perform a
valuable service to the communities they protect, and in doing so, they put
their lives at risk. While firefighting has always been dangerous, the
materials in burning buildings are even more hazardous than in previous years.
Household contents previously made of natural wood are now made of pressed
wood, synthetics and polymer-based components. When these materials burn, they
produce toxic gases, and toxins in soot and ash can be absorbed through the
skin. This can be dangerous to the firefighters’ health. While the exposures
cannot be eliminated, they can certainly be reduced.
One way to
help protect the firefighters from the risks they face is equipping them with
the appropriate personal protective equipment and the tools to properly clean
them. There should be procedures for decontaminating
gear at the fire scene as part of a process of gross decontamination. This
could include scrub brushes and soap, medical gloves and wet wipes. An on-scene
decontamination kit costs $10 to $20. Some agencies are able to provide a
second set of clean gear, so that the dirty set can be swapped out immediately
after a fire in order for the first set to be properly cleaned.
Firefighters’ gear should be routinely cleaned since it becomes
soiled during a fire. If done properly, that not only keeps the personal
protective equipment in service, but more importantly, protects the firefighter
from harmful agents. Unfortunately, many fire departments simply lack access to
washer/extractor machines or the resources to send their gear out to specialized
cleaning companies when needed.
An in-house washer/extractor
built specifically to clean the gear costs anywhere between $6,000 and $10,000,
depending on how it is mounted and how many sets of equipment it needs to hold.
Understandably, turnout gear is very slow to dry, so it is extremely helpful
for firefighters to also have specially designed dryers that speed up the
process. Dryers can cost between $1,000 and $5,000. While these washers and
dryers are more expensive than household appliances that perform similar
functions, they are specifically designed for firefighters’ gear. It is a reasonable
expense for protecting the individuals that serve to protect the county. The
appliances can be even less expensive if shared with other jurisdictions.
If firefighters encounter
diesel fuel, gasoline or other chemicals or biological agents, more advanced
cleaning is necessary to remove the contaminants. An accumulation of substances could affect the firefighter’s health
and could degrade the gear’s performance, so it is important to have the gear
cleaned quickly and thoroughly.
Are your firefighters properly equipped?
For more information on Toxic
Build Up in Firefighting Operations, read the recent article from ACCG’s
risk control service.
Each year, the Department of Community Affairs (DCA)
conducts a voluntary survey of local governments to determine salaries and
staffing levels for over 160 different local government jobs. Information that
is generated from the survey is used to create PDF reports by category (i.e., public
safety, public works, general and administrative, and elected officials)
and is included in a searchable database. Of all the research
requests received by ACCG from counties, the information that is gathered
through this report is most popular. The deadline to file the report
is June 30, 2017. Information on filing the report will be available on the DCA
website once the 2017 reporting period has begun. Please make sure you use the 2017
reporting form. Access to the reporting forms and survey forms can be found
Photo, left to right, Lysette Cooksey and Martha Revelo
Martha Revelo recently received a Bachelors in Political Science at Georgia State
University and is currently pursuing her master’s degree. Her main interest in the political field
include public opinion and public policy. Throughout her educational
experience, she has worked on different social science research projects on
policy changes. As an intern at ACCG, her objective is to gain experience in
policy and legislative advocacy.
Cooksey is currently a senior at the University of Georgia, pursuing a dual
AB/MPA degree, with a Bachelors in International Affairs and a Master of Public
Administration. She plans to graduate in May with both degrees. A native of
Marietta, she is excited to work in Atlanta with ACCG. After graduation, she
hopes to move to Chicago and work in either government relations or local
course of their internships with ACCG, Martha and Lysette will assist the
policy and research departments by tracking general legislation and the
introduction of local legislation, attending committee meetings, surveying
counties, conducting research relative to legislative issues, and reporting on
floor action for both chambers of the General Assembly. Research projects this
semester include tracking TAVT losses for counties, updating sales tax
statistical information, collecting data on law enforcement salaries and
compensation, compiling Census data, and other special projects as assigned.
Photo Courtesy of Polk County
Kennesaw State University Student, Interns with the Polk County Finance
Bradley McFall, a business management major at Kennesaw
State University, completed an internship with the Polk County Finance
Department as part of the 2016 Summer Georgia County Internship Program.
Although he had no prior experience working within county government, Bradley started
his internship with a desire to grow professionally and utilize his business
McFall was tasked with reviewing and updating the financial
accountability policy and procedure for the county. To complete the project, he had to review county
budget policies, work on the FY2016 final budget and the FY2017 budget, and
apply the experience to an updated financial policy. This required McFall to
quickly learn basic financial reporting and policy as it applied to county
government. The project also allowed him to further develop his skill set in Microsoft Excel
and obtain a greater level of detail in accounting.
When asked about the favorite part of his internship, McFall
noted that it was learning how an accounting department operates. He further
stated that discovering how to review detailed financial documents was the most
useful part of his internship and that the experience and skills he learned
would certainly assist him in his future goals.
Upon discussing his experience working with the finance
department, McFall noted that he had a positive experience and that he enjoyed
the work and the environment of the internship. He further stated that his
experience would transfer to almost any other accounting department. When asked
about his plans after graduation, McFall expressed that he would definitely
consider a career in county government.
For more information on GCIP, please visit the ACCG
Civic Affairs Foundation website at www.civicaffairs.org.