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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT… WFLA: “Tampa Bay first responders honored for service after Surfside condo collapse”


TAMPA – When tragedy struck in Surfside last summer, first responders from Tampa Bay and across the state of Florida answered the call to assist with the search, rescue, and recovery efforts at the site of the collapsed condominium building.
“Surfside is a tragedy of mass scale that is going to stick with me forever and as the State Fire Marshal, I felt compelled to do something for these heroes,” Florida’s Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said.
Members of US&R Task Force 3 worked long days searching for any sign of life in the large pile of debris from the catastrophic building collapse that killed 98 people.
“They worked 12-hour shifts in the Miami heat,” Patronis said, “cutting rebar, cutting concrete, filling five-gallon buckets with debris. At the same time, they were picking up wedding pictures and children’s toys.”
Since the condo collapse in June, Patronis said he is fighting to secure $10 million in funding for equipment and training for the state’s 8 US&R Task Forces.
“It would be a historic injection of cash for these heroes critical to keep a robust pipeline of talent flowing into our Florida communities,” Patronis said.
Patronis said the funding is essential to keep the US&R teams prepared for the next hurricane to hit the state. He added he’s encouraged that Gov. Ron DeSantis has included the $10 million in his budget.
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).