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**PHOTO & VIDEO RELEASE B-ROLL** CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Awards $58K in Pandemic Protection Funding to Panhandle Area Firefighters

5/17/2021

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For Immediate Release: Monday, May 17, 2021
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

**PHOTO & VIDEO RELEASE B-ROLL**
CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Awards $58K in Pandemic Protection Funding to Panhandle Area Firefighters


To view and download the b-roll video from the event, click here.

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis presented $58,695.00 in pandemic protection funding to eight fire departments in the Panhandle 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 Panama City Beach to present them with a check for more than $58,000 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 than you or me. Because of the success of this program, I supported legislation this 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.”

Panhandle Region Firefighter Cancer Decontamination Equipment Grant Program Awards:

• Mexico Beach Fire Rescue $1,556.25
• Almarante Fire District $4,462.50
• Baker Fire District $6,063.75
• Bay County Fire Rescue $24,750.00
• City of Niceville Fire Department $4,125.00
• City of Milton Fire Department $3,341.25
• South Gulf Volunteer Fire Department $7,556.25
• Panama City Beach Fire Rescue $6,840.00

Chief Ryan Crawford, South Walton Fire District and Florida Fire Chiefs 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 Bryan Easterling, Baker Fire District said, “Our firefighters risk their lives serving the citizens, businesses and communities of Florida. CFO Patronis is making sure that those that serve are given attention and funding when they are the ones in need of help.”

Chief Tommy Mayville, Niceville Fire Department said, “It was an honor to join CFO Patronis in Panama City today to receive this important grant funding. Our dedicated firefighters work every day to protect us, and I know CFO Patronis is working hard to protect them.”

Chief Brad Monroe, Bay County Emergency Services, said, “Firefighters know the risks that come along with the job, but we work each day to keep our communities safe. I appreciate CFO Patronis for understanding the needs of the fire service community and continuing to make important investments to protect our health. This funding will help ensure firefighters will have the necessary resources to lessen our exposure to cancer-causing substances and other infectious diseases.”

Chief Ray Morgan, Panama City Beach Fire Rescue said, “Thank you to CFO Patronis for coming to Panama City Beach today and providing us with this critical grant funding. This funding will help ensure firefighters will have the necessary resources to lessen our exposure to cancer-causing substances and other infectious diseases.”

Chief John Reble, Milton Fire Department 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. Thank you, CFO, for working with the Legislature and ensuring our firefighters have what they need to be fully protected.” 

Chief Sandy Walker, Mexico Beach Fire Rescue said, “Our fire service community are some of the hardest working, and most honorable people around. Every person heeded the call when they were compelled to serve, and I appreciate CFO Patronis’ support of us. 

In total, the Firefighter Cancer Decontamination Equipment Grant Program will award $250,000 to fire departments statewide.

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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).