At St. Lucie County Fire District the Only Constant is Change


Submitted by Dan Kross, Vice President, Commercial Advisor – Brown & Brown, Inc.

In an effort to further enhance safety and wellness, the SLCFD recently created a separate standalone Division of “Health & Safety,” led by Division Chief Brian Gonzalez. The Division includes a newly created position of Risk Manager for long time employee Carol Spencer. The goal was to allocate more time and to focus on the safety committee, loss control, claims management, wellness program as well as the insurance program. In years past these duties were handled as part of the HR department, limiting the time and focused energy available.

With the focused time, the Division worked to enhance the Safety Committee. By leaving the boardroom and rotating the meetings to various Stations, they have been able to increase both the number of participants on site and their active engagement. As the response to COVID has required new workloads, they have been able to ensure strict adherence to CDC guidelines and as an extra precaution, follow up with the local hospital for all Med Alerts to ascertain if a transport was tested positive or negative. With this knowledge, the department could followup with employees for a version of contact tracing, allowing for “peace of mind” on negative transports and to alert one to watch for symptoms if a test came back positive.

Carol Spencer, Risk Manager St. Lucie County Fire District

Due to the annual hurricane threat posed, the team is in the process of “pre-planning” for hurricanes by auditing all buildings for requirements in case of a catastrophe, as described in the Summer 2020 “Preferred News” article.

All buildings are being heavily photographed, emergency equipment needs calculated, and contractor rates locked in place to mitigate the expense of a claim after a storm. Ideally, this will make claim handling and working with FEMA as smooth as possible.

Since becoming a member of Preferred in 2015, the District has been very successful in its health and safety efforts as evidenced by declining claim frequency and total claims paid out. The continued strategic focus on risk directed by Fire Chief Nate Sperra will continue to pay dividends by protecting the people and equipment of the District.

East Manatee Fire Rescue staff member utilizing AeroClave portable decontamination device

East Manatee Fire Rescue Utilizes AeroClave for Decontamination

Submitted by William Hall, Deputy Chief of Operations – East Manatee Fire Rescue

East Manatee Fire Rescue is grateful to have recently received a Preferred TIPS reimbursement of $5000 for the purchase of a portable decontamination device known as AeroClave. The AeroClave has been proven effective at destroying certain pathogens including MRSA, HIV-1, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Ebola, MERS, CRE, E. coli, Norovirus, H1N1, Legionella pneumophilia, Salmonella, Listeria, mold, mildew and more.

AeroClave’s room fogging technology creates an atomized particle that reaches into nooks, crevices and corners that disinfecting sprays & wipes just can’t reach. The dry mist permeates the entire area disinfecting surfaces while reaching under counters and furniture.

The chemical utilized in the AeroClave is Vital Oxide. Vital Oxide is an EPA registered hospital disinfectant (broad-spectrum antimicrobial) that performs against a wide variety of bacteria, yeasts, viruses, fungi, spores, molds, mildews, and other microbes.

The AeroClave will benefit East Manatee Fire Rescue by providing a portable solution to decontaminate both our facilities and apparatus to combat against a broad spectrum of pathogens. Additional benefits include:

  • Reduces staff & patient exposure to dangerous pathogens.
  • Faster process requiring less labor.
  • Safe for sensitive electronic equipment.
  • Improves fire unit turn-around time.
  • Improved cleanliness.


East Manatee Fire Rescue intends to extend services utilizing the AeroClave to help decontaminate neighboring fire agency stations and apparatus as well. To learn more on AeroClave decontamination products, please visit their website at

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