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CFO & State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Provides Update on Surfside Response Efforts

6/30/2021

SURFSIDE, Fla. – Today, Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis provided an update on response activities related to the Surfside condo-collapse. The CFO plans to request additional support for treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that Florida’s Urban Search and Rescue Team members may experience. 
 
CFO and State Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “We’ve gotten word that President Biden is coming to the region and that’s the right thing to do.  I’ve said before, this isn’t just a Florida tragedy – it’s also a national and international event. We’re planning on appealing to the President for the best PTSD support possible for the men and women who are working in conditions that resemble more of a warzone than a normal search and rescue mission. We’ve already deployed mental health experts to engage these heroes, but having access to the nation’s best mental health experts and guidance would go a long way in helping these officials cope with some of the horrible things they are having to see and deal with.” 
 
On Sunday, the CFO deployed mental wellness peer teams to support to Urban Search and Rescue missions. When the teams ultimately demobilize, the peer teams will continue outreach to provide support.   
 
The CFO continued, “I also want the President to see the professionalism of Florida’s Urban Search and Rescue Teams. Not only are these men and women putting their lives-on-the-line every day in hopes of a saving a life, but these teams are used in emergency response efforts nationwide - especially for hurricanes.  With all of Florida’s Urban Search and Rescue teams activated, these men and women are working 12 hours shifts in some of the worst conditions imaginable. In fact, three million pounds of debris has been removed from the site. Their boots, their gloves, and other important pieces of equipment are having to be replaced at a much faster rate compared to other emergencies. 
 
“The rebar, the concrete and other debris, combined with the long hours these men and women are working, is tough on the equipment. These teams respond to hurricanes across the nation, so we’re working with FEMA and our Division of Emergency Management to ensure these supplies are being replenished. We want backup for the backups. Especially as we’ve got two disturbances in the Atlantic that we’re all monitoring.”  
 
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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).