December 2020
News & Events
IRMA Returns $20 Million in Interest Income to Members
At the December 16, 2020 IRMA Board of Directors Meeting, the membership voted to return $20 million to members in 2020. Every year, the membership looks at all claim years at least 5 years old and determines if the Members Reserve balance is in excess of what is required to be held by the bylaws. IRMA’s Administration and Finance Committee monitors our investments, which are diversified with 50% invested in equities, which typically return a higher rate than more conservative fixed asset alternatives. For many years, IRMA has enjoyed positive investment returns, allowing us to return millions in investment income to our members. In fact, over just the past 10 years, IRMA has returned almost $69 million to our members. IRMA’s investment portfolio is holding its own for 2020, tracking at a 2% rate of return.

COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Testing Clarification

IRMA has received inquiries regarding the types of COVID-19 tests currently available and which is best. While testing decisions must be made on an individual basis and in conjunction with an employee’s healthcare provider, IRMA has compiled information available through the FDA, IDPH, and the CDC to assist employers in understanding the differences between the tests currently available. 
The Truth About UV Disinfection Technology
Since the outbreak of Covid-19 earlier this year, many questions have plagued local, state, and federal leaders regarding how to (1) eradicate the virus threat, (2) protect citizens and business workers and customers, (3) how to keep the economy growing during the pandemic. What we unequivocally now know is that the coronavirus is spread in an aerosolized form and through the air. 
Legal Wins
Two Defense wins in Trip and Falls on Roadways

We recently won two cases filed by Plaintiffs who were injured while walking in roadways. According to the Tort Immunity Act, municipalities have a duty to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition for intended and permitted users. The law is well established that pedestrians are not intended and permitted users of roadways, except when they exit or enter a legally parked vehicle, or when they are in the crosswalk. In the first case, the Plaintiff was walking on the street in an area where there are no sidewalks and fell when her foot became caught in a pothole. The court dismissed the case finding that she was not an intended or permitted user of the street. The Plaintiff argued that she was an intended and permitted user of the street because there was no sidewalk in the area. The court rejected this argument, finding that imposing this burden on municipalities would be unduly expensive and burdensome. Attorney Brandon Lemley won the case. In the second case, the court granted summary judgment to the defense where the Plaintiff was in the roadway when she tripped and fell outside of a crosswalk. The court ruled that pedestrians are not intended and permitted users of the roadway. She was not in an area immediately surrounding her parked car and there was a public sidewalk available for pedestrian use adjacent to where she fell. In addition, the defect was less than 1 inch, so the court ruled it was de minimus. Attorney Molly O’Reilly won the case. 

Plaintiff loses after Tripping on Bike Rack

The defense won summary judgment in a case where the Plaintiff sued after she tripped on a bike rack. She claimed that the bike rack had a missing bolt, but that is not what caused her fall. After reviewing the arguments, the court granted judgment in favor of the Village finding that the Village had no prior notice that there was a bolt missing.
IRMA Board Takes Action in Support of Member Police Departments
The IRMA Board of Directors meeting on December 16 started with the acknowledgement and endorsement of the 10 Shared Principles. In March of 2018, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP) and the Illinois NAACP State chapter affirmed a list of principles that would serve as a tool to ‘replace mistrust with mutual trust wherever, whenever, and however possible’. Chief Black, of the City of Crystal Lake Police Department and President of Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police spoke to the importance of these principles when working to build community engagement and public trust. Especially when thinking about communities of color and disenfranchised groups of people. IRMA is committed to continuing the conversation and creating a pool that values respect and professionalism for all. The endorsement of these principles is just the start.
Risk Management and Training: 2020 in Review
We can all agree that 2020 has been anything but normal. As we navigated through Zoom and Teams, and hear the famous phrase "You're Muted", IRMA worked diligently to continue providing the necessary risk management and training services to keep health and safety at the forefront.
Risk Management News
FireEye & SolarWinds Breach: What You Should Know

The FireEye/SolarWinds breach has been a key headline recently and will continue to be for weeks and months to come. It is a monumental event in the history of information technology and security. The challenge now is to manage the facts from the speculation, as experts and analysts provide scenarios, analyses, and opinions.
IRMA Launches Fire Service Injury Prevention Program with Binder Lift

Patient lifting and handling injuries are the number one injury sustained in the Fire Service, both in frequency and severity. Between 2015-2020, injuries resulting from patient lifting occurred within the pool on average 35 times per year with workers’ compensation claims costs averaging over 1.48 million per year.
Member Achievements
Westmont Police Department achieves ILEAP Accreditation

The Westmont Police Department was recognized November 19, 2020, for achieving Tier II of ILEAP accreditation. ILACP Vice President Lou Jogmen went to Westmont to make the presentation to Chief Jim Gunther during the Village Board meeting as part of the village’s 99th anniversary celebration. Sergeant Craig Gomorczak is the accreditation manager. 
West Chicago FPD K-9 Team Success

West Chicago Fire Protection District Training Facility was recently recognized by SUSASR/FEMA as a Regional Canine FEMA Training Facility. 

OnDemand Training - Available Now
The IRMA office will be closed on December 24, 25 & January 1
in observance of the Holidays.