Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis announced today the launch of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) training materials on mental health awareness, prevention, mitigation, and treatment for first responder employers such as local police or fire departments. Senate Bill 376, the top priority for CFO Patronis during the 2018 Legislative Session, becomes effective October 1 and provides first responders suffering from PTSD access to mental health benefits. The PTSD education requirement is a key provision in the law.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “We cannot lose sight of the fact that our firefighters are attempting suicide at a rate five times higher than the general population, and they are thinking about suicide at a rate nine times higher. First responders as a whole are attempting suicide at a rate more than ten times higher.
“We’ve heard terrible stories about the impact tragedies like Pulse, Parkland and most recently Jacksonville Landing, have on our first responders and their families. This training is an important step needed to help our first responders recognize and manage the mental health challenges associated with these heroic professions.”
CFO Patronis’ Division of Workers’ Compensation is providing a framework for employing agencies of first responders to build upon for the educational requirement in the new law. Agencies can learn more and download the training materials here.