Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is raising awareness on the mental health challenges that first responders continue to face.
In recognition of PTSD Awareness Day, Patronis, who doubles as the State Fire Marshal, highlighted the continual need to provide frontline workers with the PTSD benefits they deserve. In a press release, Patronis pointed to the first responders who were on the frontline during the aftermath of the Surfside condo collapse.
“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,” Patronis said. “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.
Patronis is no stranger to fighting for men and women who suffer from PTSD. In 2018, the CFO advocated for PTSD legislation relating to benefits for first responders who are struggling with PTSD. He followed that up in 2019, working with key stakeholders on legislative ratification of the rules implementing these benefits, including vital PTSD education requirements for Florida’s first responders
Patronis’ announcement also follows on the heels of him filing an Amicus Brief last week in support of a Brevard County firefighter who was unlawfully denied insurance coverage related to PTSD benefits.
“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.”