Our first responders have a difficult job. They respond to tragic events and scenes – car accidents, house fires, and medical emergencies – often multiple times per day. Bearing witness to that level of trauma isn’t easy.
As mayor, I understand and honor the sacrifices our first responders make each day, putting their own safety at risk to preserve ours. I was glad to join Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis, local representatives, and our first responders to celebrate the passage of SB376.
This bill, which passed unanimously in the state legislature, provides benefits to first responders suffering from employment-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), allowing them to access indemnity and medical benefits for PTSD.
Simply put, this is the right thing to do. Our police and fire personnel deserve this.
I’ve seen our brave men and women in action. During Irma, I joined swift water teams as they took boats door-to-door to rescue citizens from their flooded homes. Our entire city watched last month as teams scaled 17 stories to rescue two workers dangling from a downtown sky rise.
In February of this year, our Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department responded to more than 11,000 runs, dispatching 89 structure fires and transporting more than 6,000 patients.
We must take care of those who take care of us. That’s what this bill does. Thanks to CFO Patronis, Governor Rick Scott, and the Florida Legislature for their leadership on this important issue.