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CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis: Fighting to Protect Fire Investigators During National Cancer Prevention Month

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In recognition of February as National Cancer Prevention Month, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is raising awareness of the importance of including Florida’s fire investigators in existing cancer coverage. This session, the CFO is working with Senator Wright (Senate Bill 838) and Representative Salzman (House Bill 557) to ensure these essential fire service personnel receive cancer treatment benefits. Members of the fire service community face a higher rate of cancer-related diagnosis and death than the average population.

CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “Florida’s firefighters and fire service personnel face tremendous danger on the job, whether that is going into a burning building or being exposed to carcinogens that could ultimately lead to cancer. Our fire investigators play an important role in fire and arson related investigations and ensuring arsonists are brought to justice. Both firefighters and investigators never fail to answer the call and work to protect our homes, businesses and communities at a moment’s notice. It is critical that we ensure these men and women have the support they need if faced with a life-changing cancer diagnosis. Thank you to Senator Wright and Representative Salzman for their hard work and support of this important legislation.”

CFO & State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis has made it his mission to fight for Florida’s first responders. In 2019, the CFO championed legislation, sponsored by Representative Blaise Ingoglia, to provide vital benefits for firefighters diagnosed with cancer. He also led the way to ensure these heroes receive PTSD training and benefits to aid in managing the effects of their often dangerous profession. Last year, the CFO worked with the Legislature to successfully double funding for Florida’s Cancer Decontamination Grant program from $250,000 to $500,000. The program provides important funding for fire districts to acquire equipment that removes cancer-causing carcinogens from gear firefighters use. The equipment also serves as pandemic protections against viruses like COVID-19. In addition, CFO Patronis helped secure more than $13 million for local fire service projects last year.