Volunteer Fire Departments Work to Reach Next Generation

(NewsUSA) – Volunteers make up more than two-thirds of the nation’s fire service and protect their communities from a wide range of emergencies. Yet many fire departments are having difficulty meeting the staffing needs that an all-hazards department requires.Call volumes have skyrocketed in recent years, tripling over the last three decades. At the same time, many fire service veterans are reaching retirement age, while there are fewer new recruits coming into the ranks.Department leaders are looking to recruit the next generation to fill the gap and step up to serve their community in a unique and rewarding way.A survey conducted by the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), the national nonprofit association representing the volunteer fire and emergency services, found that 44 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 have an interest in volunteering as an emergency responder. A barrier to people taking action on this is awareness: the same survey found that 79 percent of people do not know if their department needs volunteers."Many people don’t realize that their department is staffed by volunteers or that they need more volunteers," says NVFC chair Kevin D. Quinn. "We are working to get the word out that we need more people, and that anyone wanting to serve their community can be a fire service volunteer."Millennials, as the 18-34 age group is commonly referred to, are one key demographic that volunteer fire and emergency service departments are trying to reach. With more than 80 million people, this demographic will play a crucial role in the success of the volunteer fire service."Millennials make great firefighters and emergency volunteers. They work hard, learn fast, are technologically savvy, and are used to balancing multiple responsibilities," says Quinn. "It is this generation that is really where the future of the fire service lies. They are our leaders of tomorrow."The younger generation is also finding that there are many benefits to being a fire service volunteer. For one, it provides a meaningful way to give back to the community. Volunteers also learn skills that they can use in many aspects of their personal and professional lives. In addition, many volunteers find the sense of community and family that exists in the fire service to be one of its biggest draws.Volunteer firefighters are a diverse group of people who come from all backgrounds, professions, ages, genders, races, and ethnicities. Anyone with the desire to serve can find a volunteer role in the fire service. It is mainly about having the heart and drive to make a difference where it’s needed most.New recruits are trained by the department. Fire departments typically respond to a variety of emergency calls, which may include fires, medical emergencies, search and rescue, natural disasters, hazardous materials incidents, vehicle collisions, terrorist threats, and other public service calls. Many departments also provide community services such as fire prevention education.The NVFC has created the Make Me A Firefighter campaign (www.MakeMeAFirefighter.org) to help departments with recruitment efforts, educate the public about the need for volunteers, and connect potential volunteers with their local fire department."We encourage anyone interested in volunteering to visit www.MakeMeAFirefighter.org," says Quinn.To view the video, click here.

Fire Departments Look to Community for Volunteers

(NewsUSA) – Fire departments across the country rely on the service of dedicated volunteers, but department membership rosters may not always reflect the demographics of the communities they serve.Many departments are now looking to expand their ranks while increasing the diversity of their personnel. Research conducted by the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) — the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS personnel and rescue workers — found that there is significant interest in serving by audiences currently under-represented in the fire service, including millennials, women and minority populations. The research showed that the level of interest in volunteering did not vary significantly between women and men, and that minority populations exhibited as much, if not more, interest than their white counterparts.One obstacle to volunteering, however, is awareness.The NVFC research showed that 79 percent of people do not know if their local fire department needs volunteers. The NVFC hopes to help departments expand their reach by encouraging more members of the community to volunteer through its Make Me A Firefighter recruitment campaign. The campaign helps departments fine-tune their recruitment efforts to appeal to a broader range of individuals."The campaign not only facilitates connections between departments and prospective volunteers, but it specifically helps departments reach under-represented groups such as minorities, women, and young adults," says Juan Bonilla, fire chief and vice chair of the NVFC’s recruitment and retention committee."Anyone can be a firefighter. We come from all ages, genders, backgrounds, races, and ethnicities. It is our goal to reach more of the community to increase awareness of the volunteer opportunities available," he says.Volunteers make up 70 percent of the fire service, but many departments are struggling to meet staffing needs. Call volume has tripled over the past 30 years as departments respond to a growing range of emergencies that include fires, emergency medical incidents, hazardous materials response, search and rescue, terrorist threats, natural disasters, and other public service calls. Volunteers also provide additional services to their communities, such as fire prevention and life safety education.Fire service volunteers play a crucial role in the protection and safety of U.S. communities. One third of the U.S. population relies on the volunteer emergency services to be their first line of defense in emergencies. In addition, volunteers save localities across the country an estimated $139.8 billion annually.Departments can use the Make Me A Firefighter campaign to create recruitment materials, manage the recruiting process and post their opportunities in a national volunteer database.Individuals interested in volunteering in the fire service can visit www.MakeMeAFirefighter.org to find a local volunteer opportunity and connect with a department."Our country relies on the dedication and service of over one million volunteer firefighters, EMTs, and rescue workers to protect our communities," says NVFC chair Kevin D. Quinn."It takes commitment and dedication to be a volunteer responder, but the rewards are overwhelming. We invite all who may be interested to visit the website at www.MakeMeAFirefighter.org to learn more about the fire service, what it means to join the fire service family and what opportunities are available in your community." 

Financial Tips for Grads Considering Their First Job

(NewsUSA) – Perhaps the best financial advice for newly minted college grads? At least eight factors — not just salary — should be considered before deciding which job offer to accept. Will your prospective boss match your 401(k) plan contributions, for example? And what about if you’re considering relocating? Just because some firm in Arlington, Virginia — rated the best city for recent grads in one survey — is dangling a higher paycheck than one elsewhere, doesn’t necessarily make it right for you, given the Washington, D.C., suburb’s high cost of living. A new online Job Offer Evaluator tool from Fidelity Investments, which considers all factors, can help calculate the right decision for you. See the infographic’s full-sized image here. 

The Benefits of A Flexible Work Schedule


(NewsUSA) – Within the past two decades, job opportunities that offer telecommuting options have quadrupled, and as technology advances, that number will continue to grow.

Besides having more time to manage personal and family obligations, research shows that telecommuting also boosts productivity and reduces stress.

If the thought of having flexible work hours sounds appealing, becoming a benefits advisor may be the answer.

Learn more at www.aflac.com/agent

High resolution infographic here.

Tristar Praises Trump, EXIM Bank for Creating Jobs

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – A small Virginia business that will help create manufacturing jobs in U.S and energy development in Ethiopia praised President Trump for his support of the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of the US as a job-creating and export tool.
“Thanks to President Trump for his support of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. We are on track to create a 1,200 megawatt wind energy project in Ethiopia that is expected to create up to 5,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs producing turbines for export,” says Paul Delkaso, President and CEO of Tristar and Tritente Global Energy Group.
“EXIM is not just about help-ing large companies like Boeing” Delkaso adds. “It is all about help-ing small- and mid-sized U.S. firms, making America Great Again and bringing security, eco-nomic development and jobs to the African continent.”
“Exporting American electricity technology will create jobs in the U.S. while demonstrating American leadership in a growing market. Electricity will generate jobs, and improve security and healthcare while stimulating benign economic development.”
Tristar and its sister company, Tritente Global Energy Group, is working with Détente Group of Virginia, EXIM Bank and leaders in Africa to bring energy security to Africa, where 620 million people lack electricity.
“Every industrialized country has an EXIM-type of program to stimulate exports,” says Brien Morgan, Managing Partner of Détente Group, which has been working with Tristar and the US EXIM Bank to finalize funding.
“Under President Trump’s Administration and Rep. Scott Garrett’s leadership, Détente looks forward to working with an invigorated US EXIM Bank to deploy its Ethiopian wind farm project along with other US high-tech job-creating projects.”
The Hon. Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, met with the Tritente Global Energy Group team and says that, “Africa is undergoing a sustained period of economic growth and transformation. In order to be sustained, this growth will need to be fueled by a massive investment in energy.”
“The vision of Tristar and Tritente Global Energy Group in sub-Saharan Africa must be supported and admirable,” adds Mwencha.
Tristar is also working with several African nations on a new round of infrastructure projects, including rail, port and clean coal, Delkaso says.
However, the EXIM support of Detente’s $3.6 billion is the best way to create U.S. manufacturing jobs and to boost exports.

Propanc Health Group Changes Name, Continues Cancer Research

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – The Australian-based biotech company, Propanc Health Group, which has been developing proprietary treatments for cancer patients suffering from solid tumors such as pancreatic, ovarian, and colorectal cancers, has changed its name to Propanc Biopharma Inc (OTCQB:PPCHD), according to its Board of Directors, who approved the corporate name change.
“As a result of the company’s recent progress and anticipated upcoming milestones, we believe the timing is right to change our company name to better reflect our stage of growth and development, as well as execute the reverse stock split,” says James Nathanielsz, Propanc’s Chief Executive Officer.
“Given that we expect to complete our GLP toxicity study very soon and expect to then move forward with First-In-Man studies of our lead product, PRP, we wanted to launch our corporate strategy to address our capital structure, reduce debt, and raise additional capital sufficient to progress PRP through clinical development.”
The company’s lead product, PRP, is a novel, patented formulation consisting of two pancreatic proenzymes, trypsinogen and chymotrypsinogen. Currently, PRP aims to prevent tumor recurrence and metastasis in solid tumors.
Eighty percent of all cancers are solid tumors and metastasis is the main cause of patient death from cancer. The company’s initial target patient populations include pancreatic, ovarian and colorectal cancers.
In addition, the company is currently compiling results from the recent 28-day GLP-compliant toxicity study for its lead product, PRP, and completing histopathology and biochemistry assessments to determine the toxicological effects of PRP at different dosing intervals. Overall indications suggest that identification of a safe starting dose for First-In-Man studies is possible.
To further move the company forward, Nathanielsz attended the European Small Cap Investor Conference in Paris in April, involving one-on-one meetings between institutional investors and listed companies throughout Europe, USA and Asia Pacific.
“By undertaking these steps, management hopes to better position the company for an up-listing of its common stock to a national stock exchange in order to help ensure the long-term future of the company and create value for its shareholders,” says Nathanielsz.
For more information, visit http://www.propanc.com

Sunshine State Shining New Light on the Banking Industry

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Florida is becoming the modern-day Wall Street for many international and U.S. banking companies. Today there are 141 commercial banks in Florida with more than $140 billion in assets, and 18 international banking conglomerates who have their U.S. headquarters in the state.
The high cost of doing business in places such as New York and Chicago are no longer a necessity to succeed. From Jacksonville to Miami, Florida has established itself as a powerful resource in the industry that cannot be overlooked.
Part of a Wall Street trend known as nearshoring, banks are moving operations away from expensive financial centers to more affordable and business-friendly locations.
Companies like Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, JPMorgan, Banco Santander International, Banco do Brasil and Citigroup have engaged in this practice setting up substantial operations in Florida.
The Sunshine State has developed as a bridge for business to Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe with a highly-skilled, young workforce, who understand the culture, appealing quality of life and supportive local governments that encourage and accommodate new business growth.
“In Florida, it’s the access to these resources that make the difference,” says Hernan Mayol, chairman of the Florida International Bankers Association, a non-profit association that provides comprehensive support to the global financial services industry.
“When banks need lawyers and accountants with targeted expertise, the infrastructure is here. We don’t have to be in New York or Chicago for these resources. Florida has built them from the ground up through our state’s excellent higher education facilities and training programs.”
Mayol also believes the mantra, “if you build it, they will come,” is alive and well in Florida.
And they are coming. Millennials are a driving factor in the state’s transformation and appeal for the banking industry. The young workforce in Florida expect to live in places that are more convenient and have a better quality of life, inexpensive cost of living, entertainment opportunities and work flexibility, Mayol says.
Anthony Glenn, head of the Jacksonville office of Macquarie Group, an Australian-based global provider of financial, advisory, investment and funds management services, agrees.
Macquarie has invested more than $3 million in their downtown Jacksonville location. The office has an open floor-plan concept, modern space that promotes collaboration and creativity and state-of-the-art technology -; all the elements millennials are requesting.
“The main thing we’ve looked for is the talent pool to pull from and expandable growth,” Glenn says. “Plus, the local government is very supportive and understands the market. Florida provides for a positive change from more traditional financial markets, and it has been a rewarding investment.”
Glenn says he is committed to 100 new jobs in the first year, and has plans for expansion in Jacksonville.
“The first year has been a success. It’s not just about delivery: it’s about collaboration, diversity and balance — qualities and a lifestyle one doesn’t have to travel north to experience.”
For more information about banking in Florida, visit www.enterpriseflorida.com.

The Importance of Protecting Patents

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – America’s economic engine is fueled by innovation. The ideas and inventions that emerge from researchers’ labs or the garages of budding entrepreneurs have spawned powerhouse companies, even new industries.
But turning ideas into products usually requires a crucial step: getting a patent. Patents provide years of protection, ensuring that innovators’ investments won’t be undercut by copycats. As Abraham Lincoln once famously said, patents add “the fuel of interest to the fire of genius.”
So it’s not surprising that intellectual property can be immensely valuable. Universities bring in millions of dollars every year from licensing patents. Billions of dollars in damages have also been awarded when patent holders sue companies for infringement.
In fact, patents can be so valuable that some people and companies do nothing but snap up obscure patents, often of dubious quality, to use as weapons to extract licensing fees or damages from major corporations. The tech industry derisively calls these entities “patent trolls” and has set up an “anti-troll” organization, Unified Patents, to challenge the validity of patents.
So is it possible to tell the legitimate innovators from the trolls? There are two ways. First, did the company actually make the invention — and file for patent — itself? Second, have the company’s patents survived the inevitable challenge from Unified Patents?
There’s one interesting company for which both answers are a resounding Yes.
Long before the iPhone was introduced, the engineers at Voip-Pal (OTCQB: VPLM) had a vision that telephone calls, text messages and other information would travel over the Internet. So they invented and patented all the technology needed to route calls back and forth from the Internet to other networks.
That technology is now used by major telecom and social media companies, but none have licensed the patents. That’s why Voip-Pal has sued a number of giant telecom companies for billions of dollars in damages. And, crucially, the effort by Unified Patents to invalidate Voip-Pal’s patents failed.
Voip-Pal hopes to either win or settle the cases, demonstrating once again the enormous value of high-quality patents.

Deciding What to Do With Your Old 401(k)

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Just started a new job with an employer who thinks you’re as visionary as Steve Jobs? Or maybe you’re between gigs and “exploring other opportunities.” Either way, you need to decide what to do with your old 401(k).
It’s been estimated that there are about 15 million such accounts left behind by former employees, mainly because of either inertia or plain confusion over strict rules for moving the money. And since the IRS doesn’t allow procrastinating on a key decision — if you withdraw even a dime, you’ve got just 60 days to reallocate into a different tax-advantaged account — here’s a rundown of your options to avoid what could be a costly mistake:
* Option No. 1: Cash Out
Unless you’re in dire financial straits and really, really need the bucks to live off, the consensus is this is a bad idea.
“Cashing out comes with an immediate price, both in terms of giving up potential future gains in your portfolio and in the IRS taxes the company handling your 401(k) for your former employer is legally obliged to withhold,” explains Nupur Bahal, vice president for retirement at Fidelity Investments. “That’s money you won’t have for retirement.”
Yes, the government must have its cut. Specifically, 20 percent in federal income taxes, 10 percent in an “early-withdrawal penalty” for those under age 59?, and — wait, we’re not done yet — whatever additional percentage your individual state may or may not assess.
Translating that into real money, Fidelity’s website (fidelity.com) uses the hypothetical example of a 36-year-old who decides to cash out the $16,000 balance in her account. After deducting just the federal taxes and penalties, she’d be left with only $11,200.
Feel free to imagine how much you’d be out if your account is fatter.
* Option No. 2: Move the Money to Your New Employer’s Plan
Doing what’s called a “rollover” is an easy way to keep your 401(k) savings together and growing tax-deferred.
But bear in mind: Investment options vary from plan to plan — as do fees. (And not all employers even accept rollovers.)
Which means you might want to do some comparison shopping before committing.
* Option No. 3: Move the Money Into an IRA
As with the previous rollover, you get to avoid the tax bite of cashing out. The difference here, though -; and these could be major plusses — is that not only do IRAs offer more investment choices than the typical 401(k), but you’re also able to make penalty-free withdrawals for qualified education expenses or up to $10,000 for a first-time home purchase.
“Especially if you already have other, non-401(k) accounts elsewhere, it may be simpler and more effective to consolidate everything under one roof,” says Bahal.
* Option No. 4: Leave It With Your Ex-Employer
Penalty-free withdrawals are allowed for those who leave their jobs at age 55 or older — as opposed to 59? for IRAs — and unique investment options might warrant just letting things ride. But some people forget the account exists with the passage of time — no, really — and further contributions are verboten.
Whatever you decide, remember the clock is definitely ticking for you to contact your old 401(k) administrator should you choose to withdraw even that one dime.

Los mejores consejos para el desempeño oportuno durante la conducción

(NewsUSA) -; Como millones de estadounidenses saben, los desplazamientos diarios pueden ser estresantes y monótonos. Unido a qué con el clima de invierno, mantenerse alerta es primordial, especialmente cuando las condiciones de la carretera empiezan a deteriorarse.Hasta ese momento, uno nunca sabe si va a necesitar convertirse en un conductor con desempeño oportuno.Desempeño oportuno es un término que describe estar atento al momento de conducir para que pueda maximizar el rendimiento de su automóvil y reaccionar rápidamente a las situaciones sorprendentes en el camino. Basado en una encuesta reciente, el 75 por ciento de los adultos estadounidenses dicen que necesitan convertirse en "Conductores con Desempeño Oportuno" al menos una vez a la semana, y aquellos que reportaron una necesidad de reaccionar rápidamente a una situación de conducción dicen que lo hacen aproximadamente 6 veces por semana.BFGoodrich Tires ha realizado una encuesta sobre los comportamientos durante la conducción. El grupo de estudio incluyó a 1 009 adultos (con 18 años de edad y mayores) que viven en el territorio continental de los Estados Unidos. La muestra fue representativa de la población general en términos de rasgos geográficos, demográficos y socioeconómicos.En general, el 82 por ciento de los encuestados dice que los conductores a menudo se enfrentan a situaciones inesperadas en el camino, y el 54 por ciento está de acuerdo en que los conductores manejan mejor en situaciones potencialmente peligrosas.Andrew Comrie-Picard, piloto profesional de autos de carreras, atleta de X-Games, y embajador de BFGoodrich, enfatiza que los conductores de cualquier edad pueden (y deben) practicar la Conducción con Desempeño Oportuno manteniéndose alerta para que puedan llevar su auto a su máximo rendimiento en los momentos que más importan.De acuerdo con Comrie-Picard, los aspectos clave para el Desempeño Oportuno durante la Conducción incluyen:* Mirar a lo lejos en el camino para anticipar los problemas potenciales y peligros de la carretera.* Recordar la importancia de realizar con suavidad las entradas de mando tales como el frenado, la aceleración y la dirección.* Anticiparse a las condiciones del camino, como el agua estancada y las carreteras resbaladizas.* Conducir con las dos manos en el volante, sin excepciones.* Mantener la distancia entre usted y el automóvil frente a usted.Comrie-Picard también dice que es importante asegurarse de que sus neumáticos sean apropiados para su automóvil y estén bien mantenidos. Específicamente, a él le gusta el neumáticoBFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport por su estacionalidad y capacidad de rendimiento durante los duros meses de invierno, así como durante todo el año.Información adicional sobreBFGoodrich Tires, así como otros consejos de conducción, se puede encontrar en http://www.BFGoodrichTires.com