|RISK MANAGEMENT DIVISION|
The primary purpose of the Risk Management Division is to support the principal operations of the Department by reducing the risk of injury to employees or members of the public. This mission is accomplished by controlling the frequency of accidents and limiting the subsequent loss of resources, thereby allowing the Department to remain focused on primary goals. Division staff serves employees and managers of the Department by using a pro-active approach to the job hazards and mitigates them to provide a safe working environment for each employee, regardless of the duties involved. This not only involves the obvious dangers at emergency incidents but also the less dramatic, but potentially equally devastating, dangers in the routine functions of every employee’s job.
The Risk Management Division encompasses Risk Management, the Return-to-Work Section, Safety Office and Subpoena Desk. The Division brings together several key elements that impact employee well-being, safety, risk management and workers’ compensation (Return-to-Work).
The Risk Manager coordinates all of the functions of the Division working to achieve maximum, positive impact on the operations of the Department. The intent is to help managers to control the risks that are avoidable and reduce the impact of the risks inherent in the Department’s primary functions. This coordination has the goal of early identification and control of risks in order to limit injuries and financial losses. The Risk Manager is involved in issues such as contracts and agreements, policies and procedures, oversight of vendors, and training of management personnel. The Risk Manager also represents the Department in coordination with County Counsel, Employee Relations, the County Chief Administrative Office (CAO) and others in an effort to manage the legal issues that impact the Department in lawsuits and claims.
The Safety Office tracks and analyzes all injuries, accidents and fatalities experienced by the employees of the Fire Department in order to identify the cause of these accidents and give that information to employees to help reduce future injuries and accidents. The Safety Officer is the Departmental representative for all OSHA-related issues and assists all other sections to maintain a safe and healthy work environment. The Safety Officer, a uniformed member, also acts as a member of the Command Staff during large emergency incidents within the Incident Command System (ICS).
Whenever an employee sustains a work-related injury or illness, the Return-to-Work Section coordinates with the Department’s Third Party Administrator (TPA) to oversee the process and ensure that the employee receives appropriate and timely medical care so that he or she regains their health and returns to work as soon as possible. Section staff makes certain that the workers’ compensation program is administered correctly and in accordance with State law. The focus is on ensuring that employees receive the appropriate benefits and that the financial resources of the Department are appropriately managed.
The Risk Manager, who is the designated Custodian of Records for the Department, works in conjunction with the Subpoena Clerk. This position receives all subpoenas for records or requests for witness appearance in court cases involving the Department. The Subpoena Clerk gathers the requested information and makes notifications to the requested employees and their supervisors for court appearances.