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State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis: Mental Wellness Peer Teams Sent to Surfside to Provide Support to the Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Members


For Immediate Release: Sunday, June 27, 2021
Contact: Office of Communications,, 850.413.2842
 State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis: Mental Wellness Peer Teams Sent to Surfside to Provide Support to the Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Members
SURFSIDE, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) & State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis announced that mental wellness peer teams are headed to Surfside to provide support to the US&R members. Each US&R unit will be assigned two peer team members who will be on hand to help with any immediate needs that may arise, such as a member in crisis or offer psychological first aid. The teams will be guided by clinicians, which will provide assistance that cannot be handled by the peer teams on the scene. Additionally, today is PTSD Awareness Day which raises awareness on the impact that traumatic events can have on mental health and well-being.
CFO & State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “The members of Florida’s US&R teams are giving everything they have to save lives and support the rescue mission at Surfside. Our first responders willingly go into traumatic situations and see things that cannot be unseen. Exposure to these events can cause a tremendous impact on these heroes for years to come, and the peer teams will provide invaluable support to these brave men and women. Today is PTSD Awareness Day, and I want our first responders to know that I am committed to ensuring the mental and emotional health of our US&R team members is addressed and will make sure no one fights alone. We all owe a deep debt of gratitude to our first responders who selflessly serve our communities in times of their greatest need.”
Once a US&R team has demobilized and is no longer actively involved in the recovery efforts, the peer teams will perform outreach to these members and share locally available resources. The peer teams will also follow up with the US&R unit regarding any issues that may occur following the operation.
 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).