On Monday, Florida 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, Patronis ought 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. 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.
“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,” Patronis said.
“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,” he added.
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
In total, the Firefighter Cancer Decontamination Equipment Grant Program will award $250,000 to fire departments statewide.