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CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Awards $30K in Pandemic Protection Funding to Polk County Area Firefighters

5/6/2021

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 6, 2021
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842
 
CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Awards $30K in Pandemic Protection Funding to Polk County Area Firefighters
 
POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis presented $30,629.89 in pandemic protection funding to three fire departments in the Polk County area. This past legislative session, the CFO fought for an increase in state funding for pandemic protections for firefighters via the agency's existing Cancer Decontamination Grant Program, so fire departments can buy lifesaving equipment to further protect firefighters from infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. A top priority of CFO Patronis in the 2020 Legislative Session, the Cancer Decontamination Grant Program was established within the Florida Department of Financial Services to help protect the health and safety of firefighters by providing financial aid to mitigate exposure to hazardous, cancer-causing chemicals and infectious diseases, like COVID-19.

CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “I was proud to join area fire chiefs today in Polk County to present them with a check for more than $30,000 in grant funding to ensure they have the vital equipment, training and supplies needed to mitigate exposure to cancer-causing contaminants and other infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. Florida firefighters have been on the frontlines of the pandemic for over a year now, working every day to protect our communities while putting themselves in harm’s way. As a result of their dangerous profession, these heroes are also more likely to contract cancer then you or me. Because of the success of this program, I supported legislation this legislative session to double the total grant funding to ensure our firefighters are fully protected.
 
“Our firefighters dedicate their lives to protect our communities and we must do everything we can to protect and support these heroes. Today, we sent a clear message that Florida stands with our firefighters.”

Representative Sam Killebrew said, “It was an honor to join CFO Patronis at today’s event in support of Tampa Bay firefighters. During session, I was proud to fight for additional resources for these heroes who selflessly serve our communities. This funding will go a long way to protect the health of the brave men and women in Florida’s fire service community.”

Bernie Bernoska, President, Florida Professional Firefighters said, “A huge thank you to CFO Patronis for continuing to fight for Florida’s firefighters. We are extremely lucky to have such strong advocate on our side. He understands the needs of the fire service community and fights to make important investments to protect our health. This funding will provide the necessary resources to lessen our exposure to cancer-causing substances and other infectious diseases.”

Chief Chris Fitch, New Port Richey Fire Department said, “Our firefighters work day and night to help protect our community. The CFO knows this – and that’s why he’s got our back. This funding will help ensure firefighters will have the necessary resources to lessen our exposure to cancer-causing substances and other infectious diseases.”

Chief Doug Riley, Lakeland Fire Chief and Vice President of Florida Fire Chief’s Association said, “Since taking office, CFO Patronis has made the men and women in Florida’s fire service feel valued and respected. The fact is CFO Patronis fights for Florida firefighters. These grants help ensure that we have the equipment and training we need to be protected while on duty.”

Chief Robert Weech, Polk County Fire Rescue said, “CFO Patronis has always treated the men and women serving Florida’s fire service with the utmost respect – and today is just another example of his commitment. The fact is CFO Patronis gets the job done, plain and simple.”

Tampa Bay Firefighter Cancer Decontamination Equipment Grant Program Awards:

• New Port Richey Fire Department $10,244.89
• Minneola Fire Department $11,250
• Polk County Fire Rescue $9,135
In total, the Firefighter Cancer Decontamination Equipment Grant Program will award $250,000 to fire departments statewide. Additional award announcements to follow.

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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).