Fire department gets wellness grant

LAGUNA VISTA — The Laguna Vista volunteer fire department is about to get a whole lot healthier.

The department received a grant of $4,000 from VFIS Texas, an insurance company that covers emergency responders.

A request for the grant was submitted under the VFIS Texas 2018 Emergency Responder Health and Wellness program that aims to help departments develop or expand existing health and wellness initiatives.

More than 100 departments submitted requests for grants totaling $447,000.

Due to the amount of requests submitted, the committee was able to grant only a partial reward.

According to Fire Chief Zac Tamayo, the department originally put in a request for $5,000.

They received a grant for 90 percent of what they asked for.

The grant is to help the department develop or expand their existing health and wellness initiatives to help the volunteer firefighters stay safe and prevent line-of-duty deaths and injuries.

“It is a great thing,” Tamayo said. “The department most definitely needed it.”

This is the first year the department applied for the grant.

Tamayo said the grant comes as a morale booster and recruitment tool that will prove beneficial to the volunteers.

Grant money can be used for anything from physicals for volunteers to exercise equipment to keep volunteers in shape.

“The fitter we are the healthier we are,” Tamayo said.

Tamayo said the department is very much run like a business and the grant will help the business run more smoothly and benefit not only the volunteers but the city as well.

“The community is our customers and our goal is to provide the best customer service.”

What is this grant?

2018 Emergency Responder Health and Wellness Program

How much is it?

The department originally asked for $5,000 and was

awarded $4,000

What is it for?

To expand health and wellness initiatives to prevent injuries

during duty