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**PHOTO RELEASE** CFO Jimmy Patronis Presents Florida H.E.R.O.E.S Award at Cabinet Meeting

6/15/2021

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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

 **PHOTO RELEASE**
CFO Jimmy Patronis Presents Florida H.E.R.O.E.S Award at Cabinet Meeting

~ The H.E.R.O.E.S award recognizes the heroic efforts of Florida’s first responders and their dedication to serve and protect Floridians ~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marsal Jimmy Patronis presented the H.E.R.O.E.S (Honoring Excellent Rescues & Outstanding Emergency Service) Award and Resolution at the Cabinet Meeting. The H.E.R.O.E.S award was presented to Lieutenant Dustin Hawkins, a firefighter with the Indian River County Fire Department. CFO Patronis established the H.E.R.O.E.S award program to recognize first responders who go above and beyond to protect the health, safety and wellness of others.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “It was an honor to present Lieutenant Dustin Hawkins with the H.E.R.O.E.S award at today’s Cabinet meeting. I take great pride in my role of honoring first responders for their courage. In addition to Dustin’s dedication as a firefighter, he goes above and beyond to make sure his colleagues are also protected by focusing on firefighter cancer prevention, and their mental health. Ensuring the first responder community has access to mental wellness is a personal endeavor for Dustin, as he worked tirelessly to develop a program that matches first responders in crisis with a trained mental health professional. As I have personally championed PTSD awareness and prevention for our fire service community, it takes all of us doing our part to continuously support those facing mental health challenges. It is people like Dustin who are our real HEROES! Thank you, Dustin you are appreciated more than you know.”
 
H.E.R.O.E.S. AWARD RESOLUTION
 
Whereas, Lieutenant Dustin Hawkins has served admirably as a firefighter for the Indian River County Fire Department since 2002, has been dedicated to their dive team for nearly two decades, and has been an active member of their honor guard since its inception in 2004; and
 
Whereas, Dustin also serves as a director of the Florida Firefighters Safety and Health Collaborative which focuses on areas such as firefighter cancer prevention, health and safety, and mental health; and
 
Whereas, in 2014, Dustin was tragically burned while on an emergency incident which involved a shipboard fire, suffering through many months of physical and emotional rehabilitation which was the impetus for Dustin becoming a champion for mental wellness in the First Responder community; and
 
Whereas, Dustin is largely responsible for the development and recent implementation of the Redline Rescue Program which is an online portal that matches First Responders in crisis with trained mental health professionals; and
 
Whereas, Dustin also serves as the chaplain for his fire department as well as Local #2201 an affiliate of the International Association of Firefighters and a member of the Florida Professional Firefighters; and
 
Whereas, Dustin is often subject to a myriad of dangerous situations and risks his life on a daily basis to make sure the people in his community are safe and well protected; and
 
Whereas, Dustin also spends many hours of his personal time supporting and mentoring other firefighters facing mental health challenges; and
 
Whereas, the CFO and State Fire Marshal, Jimmy Patronis has established the HEROES award program to appropriately Honor Excellent Rescues and Outstanding Emergency Services to recognize those that go above and beyond to ensure the Health, Safety and Wellness of others; and
 
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida recognizes Firefighter, Lieutenant, and Chaplain DUSTIN HAWKINS as the inaugural recipient of the CFO’s HEROES award with the unanimous support of the Florida Joint Council of Fire and Emergency Services and thank him for his commitment to the fire service community and to the citizens of the State of Florida.
 
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF the Governor and the Cabinet of the State of Florida have hereunto subscribed their names and have caused the Official Seal of the State of Florida to be hereunto affixed in the City of Tallahassee on this 15th day of June 2021.
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).