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. [Read more…] about CFO Jimmy Patronis: PTSD Training Critical for Our First Responders
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis issued the following statement regarding the final unanimous passage of his top legislative priority, Senate Bill 376. The bill will now be ready to head to Gov. Rick Scott for signature.
“From day one this has been a life or death issue. 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 than the general population. We’ve heard horrific stories about loss of life, and the impact tragedy has on our first responders and their families.
“First responders show up for us every day, without hesitation or questioning our politics, and today Florida showed up for them. Last year four states, including Texas, increased mental health benefits for first responders. I’m proud we can now add Florida to that list.
“To those who refused to support this measure from the beginning: we got it done without you.
“Thank you to Senate President Joe Negron, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, Sen. Lauren Book, Rep. Matt Willhite, and all of the co-sponsors in both chambers.”
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis issued the following statement regarding the unanimous approval of House Bill 227 today by the Florida House of Representatives Government Accountability Committee.
“Our firefighters are attempting suicide at a rate FIVE TIMES HIGHER than the general population. Suicide is not a solution and we cannot ignore this issue any longer. Our conversations about mental health care in the wake of Parkland must include this reform that would allow first responders to access the mental health benefits they need.
“I urge the House and Senate to continue to move QUICKLY and ensure our first responders aren’t left behind.”
The next stop for HB 227, sponsored by Rep. Matt Willhite, is the House floor.
CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis will make a major announcement regarding Florida firefighter cancer and PTSD benefits on Tuesday, December 5, at 2 p.m. in West Palm Beach. Joining State Fire Marshal Patronis will be local fire service professionals.
WHO: CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis
WHAT: Major Announcement Regarding Firefighter Cancer and PTSD Benefits
WHEN: Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Station No. 23
5471 Okeechobee Blvd
West Palm Beach, FL 33417
Senator Victor Torres (D-Orlando) on Tuesday filed SB 1088 which amends Florida’s workers compensation law to allow first responders suffering from work related mental illnesses, like PTSD, to receive lost wages during their recovery and treatment.
“The least we can do for those who put their lives on the line every day to protect the citizens of this state is make sure they have the ability to get the treatment they need and provide for their families while they are recovering from any physical or mental illnesses,” said Senator Torres.
Under current law, in order for first responders to be eligible for lost wages while recovering from a mental disability, such as PTSD, it must also be accompanied by a physical injury. This bill simply clarifies language under the workers compensation statue and separates the mental injury from the requirement of being related to a physical injury.
Jessica Realin, whose husband Gerry is currently suffering from PTSD after responding to the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL last summer, praised the legislation. “On behalf of the First Responders of Florida, the spouses and families of First Responders and my beloved husband, Officer Gerry Realin, I want to thank Senator Victor Torres for filing SB 1088. This measure truly has the first responders in mind, and recognizes that they, too, deserve our support.”
Organizations announcing their support of Senator Torres’ legislation include:
- Florida Police Chief Association (FPCA)
- Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)
- Florida Sheriff Association (FSA)
- Police Benevolent Association (PBA)
- Florida Professional Firefighters (FPF)
- Florida State Firemen’s Association (FSFA)
- Florida Fire Chiefs Association (FFCA)