Safe, Even in the Most Trying Times

While we miss the days where trip and falls, law enforcement chases, employment related decisions, playgrounds and pools were on the top of the list of risks that Members faced, the COVID-19 Pandemic created a whole new level of loss control and risk management challenges. With the help of the South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance, our Members have been able to navigate through these and many other risk management challenges.

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.

2020 Jim Fjerestad Memorial Safety Leadership Award

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 of 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 thsoe surrounding communities to the City’s safety and loss control meetings. This initiative take 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.

In prior years, two awards have been presented in honor of Mr. Fjerestad. This year was a little different. The Pools came togehter with Safety Benefits, Inc. and discussed that, in light of his numerous years of service, his dedication to the programs that he’s facilitied and the over all structure of the loss control program that it is today, it would be most appropriate to honor Mr. Doug Kirkus with the award. Mr. Kirkus has served us well for so many years, and completely emulates the philosphies memorialized by the Jim Fjerestad Memorial Safety Leadership Award.