CFO & State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Highlights Resources for First Responders on PTSD Awareness Day
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Today, in recognition of PTSD Awareness Day, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is raising awareness on the mental health challenges that first responders face and the continual need to provide these men and women with the PTSD benefits they deserve. Last week, CFO Patronis filed an Amicus Brief in support of a Brevard County firefighter who was unlawfully denied insurance coverage related to PTSD benefits.
CFO & State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “As Florida’s State Fire Marshal, it is my duty to remind everyone that PTSD within the community of first responders in Florida is very real. While protecting our communities, these heroes are constantly exposed to unthinkable tragedy that puts them at a high risk for PTSD. Just last week, we recognized the one-year anniversary of the Surfside tragedy. This was a disaster on a mass scale and it will live with our first responders forever. It’s tragedies like this that these heroes carry with them, whether you see it or not. In Florida, we value our first responders and we take care of these men and women because they take care of us. We must take every opportunity to stand with our first responders and make sure that they are receiving the proper care and benefits that they deserve. My office will continue to look for opportunities to fight for the well-being of these heroes every single day.”
In 2018, CFO Patronis advocated for PTSD legislation relating to benefits for first responders who are struggling with PTSD. CFO Patronis worked with numerous stakeholders through the rulemaking process in 2019 and was successful in seeking legislative ratification of the rules implementing these important benefits, including vital PTSD education requirements for Florida’s first responders. CFO Patronis' Division of Workers’ Compensation provides a framework for employing agencies of first responders to build upon for the educational requirement in the PTSD law. Agencies can learn more and download the training materials here.