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First Responders – Enter for Your Chance to Win a $7,500 Garage Makeover

Garage Makeover California CasualtyCalifornia Casualty is thanking first responders with a new Work Hard/Play Hard Sweepstakes. One lucky law enforcement officer, firefighter or EMT will receive a $7,500 Garage Makeover.

The winner of the newest Work Hard/Play Hard Sweepstakes will be handed a $7,500 check to create the garage of their dreams.

Imagine the possibilities: new cabinets, custom tool storage, new flooring or even a beverage area to go with a big screen TV.

Whether it’s a gym, workshop, or refuge from the stresses of the day, we want to help you create your ultimate garage. It’s our thanks for the hard work first responders do to keep our communities safer.

“We are grateful for the tough job first responders do every day for all us,” said California Casualty Sr. Vice President Mike McCormick. “We wanted to show our appreciation and provide a useful way to say thanks.”

The $7,500 Garage Makeover drawing is open to peace officers, EMTs and firefighters – American heroes who work hard and risk their lives. Entries will be accepted through October 31, 2019, at  The winner will be announced in November.

Previous Work Hard/Play Hard winners have won Liberty Safes, DeWalt Tools, motorcycles, and cash. Past winners include an Oregon Police officer, Colorado Sheriff’s captain, Firefighters from California, Nebraska, Ohio and Pennsylvania and a California Highway Patrolman.

First Responders – Be Kind to Your Heart

The men and women of public safety are tough, in control, and working to put others ahead of themselves. It takes a lot of “heart” to do the job. If you wear a uniform, be aware that your risk of heart disease might be higher than the general population.

First Responder Heart Health

February is Heart Month – a reminder that we all need to take care of our hearts so we will be around to celebrate many more Valentine’s Days with our loved ones.

The Risk  

Being a first responder is one of the most stressful jobs in the U.S. Long shifts, life and death situations, and strenuous physical exertion can take a toll on the heart. A number of studies involving law enforcement officers found sudden cardiac deaths accounted for 10 percent of all on-duty police deaths in the U.S.

Cardiovascular disease was found to be the primary on-duty and lifetime mortality risk for firefighters.

The danger increased for first responders who were diabetic, overweight, smoked, used excessive alcohol and didn’t exercise.

Female officers, firefighters and EMTs also need to pay attention. Their rates of heart disease and heart attack have increased, and the Centers for Disease Control lists heart disease as the leading cause of death for women in the U.S.


While we may not be able to reduce the stress involved with public safety, there are clear steps that can cut your risk of heart disease:

  1. If you smoke, quit
  2. Improve and control cholesterol levels
  3. Reduce high blood pressure
  4. Exercise
  5. Eat a heart-healthy diet
  6. Get to a healthy weight
  7. Get adequate sleep
  8. Reduce alcohol intake
  9. Begin aspirin therapy

Police and fire organizations are now calling for mandatory medical exams, wellness and fitness requirements and annual physical fitness performance evaluations. They also recommend that individuals buddy-up and create workout groups, walking clubs and other physical challenges in for their departments.

Law enforcement officers can find heart-healthy tips at

Firefighters can go to


5 Proven Tips for Fighting Winter Fires

Firefighters say that house fires increase in the winter months. Most the fire starters include food left on the stove, candles left near flammable items like decorations or curtains, or space heaters left unattended and close to flammable objects.

As firefighters respond to calls during cold weather conditions, it’s not just about fire and smoke in the structure, but staying attuned to what is happening as a result of snow, ice, freezing rain or wind. Maintaining situational awareness is essential.

• Pay attention to your surroundings at the scene, including your crew and the building structure.
• Proper ladder placement can be critical. With harsh weather conditions, be extra diligent.

The weather can also affect the drivers during the winter. 24% of vehicle crashes occur during rain, sleet, snow or fog, and slick pavement.

Keep this in mind when responding to accidents. The same conditions the accident occurred, weather-related, will also pertain to your experience. It’s essential to arrive at a scene quickly, but not worth risking your safety too.

Uneasiness increases when drivers hear sirens or see lights behind them. Their reactions are mostly stopping short in front of you or skidding into oncoming traffic, which may turn into another incident.

• Drive appropriately for the weather conditions.
• Remember that driving defensively doesn’t mean aggressively
• Always wear your seat belt.

Importantly, stay alert, drive smart, be safe and stay warm.




Join California Casualty in Thanking First Responders

The words “incomprehensible,” “terrible,” and “devastation like we’ve never seen or imagined” continue to be used to describe the impact of the fires that ravaged and changed the face of Santa Rosa and areas of Sonoma and Napa counties in October. The images of the wind-blown firestorm are seared into our consciousness.

In the aftermath, vast acreage was blackened and trailer parks, hotels and neighborhoods were decimated – leaving our hearts heavy for those who lost family, friends or their homes.

It would have been much worse if not for the heroes who saved countless lives and property. During the firestorm, first responders stood tall as the fury unfolded around them. They made valiant runs into choking smoke and pitch dark conditions to rouse and rescue those caught off-guard, guiding and carrying the infirmed or confused as the relentless inferno consumed everything in its way. They are an inspiration to us all.

Most of those in uniform say they were just doing their job; helping others at their own peril, even while their homes and property were threatened.

As the smoke clears and the damage assessed, we want to thank all the first responders and volunteers who made a difference for so many.

Please join California Casualty in expressing our sincere gratitude to the hundreds of law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTS and others who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our community. To all our heroes, we appreciate and thank you!


Calcas Visits Phoenix Fire Station

California Casualty enjoys meeting our everyday community heroes and truly getting to know what they do every day. Jill, a local CalCas team member, got the chance to talk to one of our customers and learn about his story

Mark Gonzales is the newly promoted Phoenix Fire Department Battalion Chief. Mark celebrated his 20th year, but that wasn’t the only good news. Mark’s wife shared the good news that they would be expecting their 6th child later that year.

Jill says that during her station visit, she shared with Mark that her visits to Phoenix fire departments will be wrapping up. In an instant, Mark offered for Jill to come back to his station for a day of calls and rides. Jill enjoyed a tour of a hazmat and scheduling station, as well as the dispatch area at headquarters.

Mark had a positive story he wanted to share as a customer of California Casualty.

“I have been with California Casualty for over six years now. This past year my son turned 17, and we added him and a used suburban to our policy. With all of the bumps and bruises, a vehicle can handle we quickly learned of how extensive and forgave our Auto glass coverage was. With three incidents in a short amount of time, California Casualty replaced the broken panels with a smile and taught us that every piece of glass on the vehicle was insured. We just added our daughter who has a permit now to our policy, and we are looking for a smoother road ahead.”

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