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And the Winner Is....

Last month we talked about how to improve your risk management portfolio. One of those ways was to attend the Safety Conference.  In addition to the Safety Conference, the SDPAA also offers numerous online opportunities for training, live training sessions and access to numerous sample policies and procedures.  The South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance continues to offer several opportunities for loss control options to help our Members navigate through these and many other risk management challenges daily. We also continue to review the trends and opportunities for our Members to improve their risk management portfolio.  

The South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance partners with the SDML Workers Compensation Fund to sponsor safety awards which are presented to our Members each year.  These safety awards recognize those who continually strive to improve their risk management portfolio.

2018 Jim Fjerestad Memorial Safety Leadership Awards

Prior to July 7, 2015 the award was titled the South Dakota Safety and Loss Control Award. In 2014 Jim Fjerestad was the recipient of this award. Jim was an employee offor the City of Brandon, whose passion for safety and loss control spread well beyond the City. Jim recognized that smaller communities would benefit from the information and advice that he was providing the employees in Brandon, and invited employees from those surrounding communities to the City’s safety and loss control meetings. This initiative taken by Jim was selfless and inspiring. Jim passed away July 7, 2015. The award was renamed “The Jim Fjerestad Memorial Safety Leadership Award” to honor the dedication shown by Mr. Fjerestad.

Those interested in nominating someone who exhibits a strong passion for safety and loss control can do so via nominating forms which are found on the Safety Benefits, Inc. website. The time for nominations generally closes in the late summer, as the awards are given to the recipients during the annual conventions which, this year started in September 2018. There are two award winners selected each year, one county and one municipal employee...

This year’s countyOne of this year’s recipients, Doug Blomker, Assistant Emergency Management Director and Safety Committee Chairman for Minnehaha County, was recognized during the SDACC Convention on September 11, 2018. “Doug plays a key role in the county’s Safety Committee.  He performs safety audits before and after incidents within the county.  The documentation is critical in preventing injuries and losses to the county,” said Minnehaha County Emergency Manager Lynn DeYoung. “He works very hard on the Safety Committee and he is an active member promoting safety county wide.”


Doug Blomker receiving his Fjerestad Safety Award from Doug Kirkus, September 11, 2018.

Kimble “Kim” Conwell, Planning and Public Works Technician and Safety Coordinator for the City of Custer was presented the Jim Fjerestad Memorial Safety Leadership Award on October 3rd at the South Dakota Municipal League Convention in Pierre, SD.   “Kim assists in multiple areas relating to safety within our workplace.  She actively helps schedule and organize monthly safety meetings and provides valuable information and materials at these meetings,” said Public Works Director Bob Morrison and Planning Administrator Tim Hartmann.  “She also researches safe practices to help educate staff on new equipment and she conducts routine safety inspections on city facilities.”                                 


Kim Conwell receiving her Fjerestad Safety Award from Doug Kirkus, October 3, 2018.

2018 Safety and Loss Control Recognition Awards

In addition to individual recognition, all Pool Members have the opportunity to achieve recognition via Safety and Loss Control Recognition Awards. There are four levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum.  Bronze level recognition requires Members to put into place ten safety or loss control practices such as having safety and personnel manuals and providing and attending training exercises.

 Silver level recognition is achieved by completing the ten Bronze level requirements, and then nine additional requirements. The additional requirements include items such as appropriate contracts in place with vendors, and adopting the twelve critical law enforcement policies as recommended by the South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance.

Members can reach the Gold level by attaining the Bronze and Silver level requirements, and then six additional loss control and safety measures. The additional Gold level requirements include appointing a formal Safety Committee or appointing a Safety Coordinator, and documenting complaints from citizens and the Member’s response to the same. Additionally, to obtain Gold Level Status, an entity must have someone attend the preceding year’s annual safety conference.

  The Platinum level recognition is given to those Members who have achieved gold level recognition and a combined three yearthree-year loss ratio of less than 60% for the pools to which  they belong to. There were no Silver Level awards in 2018. The 2018 Safety and Loss Control recognition awards at each level are as follows:

Gold Bronze Level

City of Baltic                                                    City of Elk Point                                              Brule County
Day County Highway                                     City of Ethan                                                    Grant-Roberts Ambulance          Gregory County                                             Hand County Highway                                                             District
                              Jerald County Highway                                                                City of Lennox                                                            Lincoln Conservation District
Moody County Highway                                              Oglala Lakota County Highway                   City of Philip
                                                            Roberts Conservation District
                              City of Sturgis                                                  Sully County Highway
City of Wall                                                                                                                  Walworth County Courthouse                        
Walworth County Highway
City of Webster                                                                                                           City of Winner                                            

Gold Level

               City of Aberdeen                                             Aurora County Highway                 Beadle County Highway
               City of Box Elder                                             City of Britton                                                 Brookings Municipal Utilities
               Brookings County                                           Brown County                                                 Clark County Highway                              Clay County                                                     Codington County Highway                                            Codington County Maintenance                 City of Custer                                                 
               Custer County                                                 Dakota Dunes Community                            Davison County                                               City of Deadwood                                                              Improvement District                     City of Dell Rapids                                         
               City of DeSmet                                                Edmunds County                                             Fall River County                                     City of Fort Pierre
                                                            City of Garretson
                                             City of Hot Springs                                         City of Huron
                                                                           Hutchinson County Highway        
               Hyde County Highway Department                                                         Lake County
                                                            Lawrence County                           
               City of Lead                                                     Lead-Deadwood Sanitary District               Lincoln County
               City of Madison                                              Marshall County                                                                               District             
               McCook County Highway                             Meade County Highway                                Miner Conservation District                      Minnehaha County                                         City of Mitchell                                               Pennington County Buildings                       Pennington County Highway                              City of Pierre                                                                   Districtand Grounds                                                    
               Sanborn County Highway                             City of Sioux Falls                                           City of Spearfish                                          
               SSpearfish Emergency
 Ambulance         City of  Valley Springs                                    City of Vermillion                                                           Ambulance District

               City of Volga                                                    City of Watertown                                         Watertown Municipal Utilities
                                                                                          City of Yankton

Platinum Level

               City of Aberdeen                                             Aurora County Highway                 Beadle County Highway                                            Brookings Municipal Utilities                       Brookings County                                             Brown County
               City of Custer                                                  Custer County                                                 Dakota Dunes Community
               Davison County                                City of Deadwood                                                 Improvement District
               City of Dell Rapids                                          Edmunds County                                             City of Fort Pierre                                         Hutchinson County Highway                        Hyde County Highway                                             Lawrence County                                           City of Lead                                                     Lead-Deadwood Sanitary                             Lincoln County
               Marshall County                                             District                                               McCook County  Highway                             Miner Conservation District                         Minnehaha County                                             City of Mitchell                                               City of Pierre                                                   Sanborn County                                              City of Spearfish              
               City of Vermillion                                            City of Volga                                                   

The South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance offers Loss Control Surveys to all of their Members. Additionally, Members have access to sample policies and manuals, as well as online and in-person training opportunities for law enforcement and administrative employees. If you would like more information about the Loss Control and Safety information or training opportunities available please go to our website at or call our office at 800-658-3633 Option 2.


Codington County joined the SDPAA in 1989 and truly appreciates everything SDPAA has done to assist the County.  In July 2017 Codington County incurred damage to numerous County owned vehicles due to hail damage.  SDPAA was on the spot with an adjuster and made prompt payment to the County for the damages incurred by the hail event.  The staff at SDPAA is the best to work with and you can present them with any question and they will answer you quickly and/or direct you to the correct party to resolve any issues or claim questions.  Codington County looks forward to working well into the future with SDPAA. Cindy Brugman, Codington County Auditor