Trusted Choice Agents Give Texas Volunteer Fire Departments Funding for Protective Fire Suits
Sep 13, 2011 | 1060 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AUSTIN, TX — The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas (IIAT) and its Trusted Choice® agents have donated a total of $200,000 to the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association (SFFMA) to assist volunteer fire departments. The entire donation will go to a special fund created to purchase fire retardant clothing for volunteer firefighters who battle the numerous wildfires across the state. An original $100,000 donation in May on behalf of Texas Trusted Choice independent insurance agents was recently doubled in response to unmet needs for protective gear.

The lightweight, fire retardant, protective suits are provided by the Texas Forest Service, but many departments can’t afford them. It costs approximately $8,400 to completely outfit one firefighter. “Now more than ever, our Texas firefighters deserve the best protection available,” said IIAT’s Executive Director David VanDelinder. “While the contribution is helpful, more is still needed to fulfill the requests for these lightweight suits.”

More than 20,900 wildfires have raged across Texas since Nov. 2010 – the largest number in the state's history according to SFFMA – and more than 3.6 million acres have been destroyed. Seventy to 80 percent of the state’s fire service is covered by volunteer fire departments. According to SFFMA, 86 percent of volunteer firefighters use their personal funds to meet the day-to-day equipment and supply needs of their fire department.

“The timing of such a great donation is perfect as we continue to see numerous volunteer fire departments fighting wild fires like the recent ones in Central Texas. IIAT’s donation will help many volunteer firefighters get much-needed equipment,” said Chris Barron, SFFMA’s executive director.

IIAT encourages members of the public to show their support by donating online to SFFMA’s Texas Wildfire Relief Fund ( In addition, IIAT has created an “I Support Volunteer Firefighters” Facebook page ( Facebook users are encouraged to “Like” the page and share it with their friends to help spread the word and to increase donations to the Texas Wildfire Relief Fund statewide.

To learn more about the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association and their Texas Wildfire Relief Fund, contact Chris Barron at 512.454.3743, or go to

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About IIAT

The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas (IIAT) is the nation’s largest state association of Trusted Choice® agencies. IIAT represents approximately 1,900 agencies and more than 16,000 agents and insurance professionals. Trusted Choice® independent agents represent multiple insurance companies. Since they are not employees of any single insurance company, they are advocates for insurance consumers helping them comparison shop for cost-effective and customized coverage. IIAT is also affiliated with the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America and works with legislative, regulatory and judicial bodies in Texas on behalf of independent insurance agents across the state. More information on IIAT can be found online at

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