Industry News

VFIS Celebrates 50 Years of Serving First Responders

YORK, Penn. – VFIS, a division of Glatfelter Insurance Group, celebrated its 50th anniversary with associates and community leaders at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, September 14, 2019. The event featured presentations from VFIS leaders and regional directors on how Glatfelter has provided critical insurance coverage and meaningful support for fire departments and emergency service organizations across North America.

“We were the pioneers 50 years ago, and today we continue our work to meet the evolving needs and secure the future for first responders,” Troy Markel, president of VFIS said to the audience of 300 associates and guests in attendance. “We look forward to many more years of serving with the same passion, commitment and genuine care that has become synonymous with VFIS since day one.”

Photo by Chelsea Foster
Attendees honored former VFIS president Lee Bainbridge with a standing ovation.

Barbara Marzean, regional director of VFIS of Texas, and Chris Barron, executive director of the State Firefighters’ and Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas, presented Markel with a proclamation from the Lone Star State commemorating the company’s landmark milestone. Recently, VFIS has received similar honors from Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania.

The formal event also featured an interactive art display honoring the company’s pioneering history. Originally named Volunteer Firemen’s Insurance Services, VFIS began when Arthur J. Glatfelter launched the first Accident & Sickness policy tailored for firefighters in 1969. Since then, the company has expanded both its coverages and services to include risk management education, training and consulting used by fire departments and emergency medical services countrywide.

Photo by Chelsea Foster
Barbara Marzean presented Troy Markel with a proclamation and flag from the state of Texas.

“I recall Art [Glatfelter] telling me more than once that he would consider VFIS to be a tremendous success if we wrote one-third of the fire departments in the state of Pennsylvania,” Tony Campisi, president of Glatfelter Insurance Group said. “Well today, 50 years later, VFIS insures about 50 percent of the fire and EMS departments in the entire country.”

“We are celebrating the unique culture that has been, and continues to be, the foundation of VFIS and Glatfelter,” continued Campisi. “It’s a culture of service, caring and building strong and lasting relationships based on trust, loyalty, integrity, respect, teamwork and simply doing the right thing.”

Photo by Chelsea Foster
An interactive art display featured the rich history of VFIS.

In addition to its specialized insurance solutions, VFIS holds a unique position in the market due to its immersion within the emergency services field. Many associates within Glatfelter serve or have served as emergency responders, with a combined 760+ years of experience.

“All of the great accomplishments my family and I have accomplished can be traced right back here to the people at VFIS,” spoke Wiatt Wong, regional director of VFIS of Arizona. “If the Education, Training and Consulting department hadn’t sent an instructor to Arizona, I never would have found my calling. From that I became a certified firefighter and EMT. In turn, when I call on a fire department, they don’t see me as an insurance agent or salesperson. They consider us family.”

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About VFIS

VFIS is the largest provider of insurance, education and consulting services for fire departments, ambulance and rescue squads and 911 centers in North America, having pioneered the first tailored insurance package for this industry in 1969. A part of Glatfelter Program Managers, one of the largest insurance program managers in the US, VFIS offers property and casualty and accident and sickness coverages, benefits programs including cancer, group term LOSAP, and risk management and safety resources to the emergency service industry.