Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis released the following statement on the day Senate Bill 376, mental health benefits for first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), goes into effect.
“Today we tell all first responders that they are not alone. That they will not have to deal with the horrific images they see every day on their own. After hearing from first responders throughout Florida and learning incredibly alarming statistics, I made it my mission to secure mental health benefits for first responders. The goal is to help the men and women who are the heroes in our community tackle their challenges so that we shrink these numbers.
“Thank you to Sen. Lauren Book, Rep. Matt Willhite for their passion and dedication to this legislation; thank you to Gov. Rick Scott for his unwavering support and signing this bill into law. Most importantly, thank you to every police officer, firefighter, and paramedic for what they do: you are my heroes, every single day.”
- 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.