Sello de Jimmy Patronis, CFO

CFO Patronis: US&R Teams Focusing Operations in Lee County

For Immediate Release: Monday, October 3, 2022
Office of Communications,, 850.413.2842

CFO Patronis: US&R Teams Focusing Operations in Lee County
~Says a Contingent of Three US&R Teams in Central Florida for Rising Waters~

SOUTHWEST, Fla. – Today, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis traveled to areas devastated by Hurricane Ian to assess recovery operations by Florida Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Teams. The CFO announced that 14 US&R Teams deployed to Southwest Florida are conducting lifesaving missions in Lee County along the coastline and barrier islands. Another three teams are prepositioned in Central Florida to prepare for potential lifesaving operations resulting from rising waters. 

CFO Patronis said, “This is an unprecedented response effort. Over 1,280 US&R team members are operating in all of Florida. Storm surge devastated the Southwest portion the state and our US&R teams are currently crawling through wood, nails, and mud for any signs of life. These are heroes who are laser focused on saving lives. I was with these teams in Michael and Surfside, so I know firsthand they’re the best-of-the-best.”

The deployments of teams to Lee County aids in expediting the search of coastal, and barrier island, areas impacted by storm surge. The teams can be redistributed to other portions of the state as the recovery warrants. In addition to the US&R teams, the CFO announced the deployment of boat teams to Lee County consisting of 104 team members. Additionally, one MARC (Mutual Aid Radio Communications) unit, consisting of two personnel, is being airlifted to Pine Island. The units provide communications for first responders when local communication systems go down.


The CFO continued, “We know that Central Florida has been inundated with rain from Hurricane Ian, and we know that water is draining into waterbodies that are already higher than normal, so we’ve worked with local officials to preposition assets for support in lifesaving rescue missions.”

Florida has three US&R teams prepositioned in Central Florida for rising waters. Additionally, 36 boat teams, consisting of 216 personnel, have been deployed to Central Florida. The boat teams were deployed from other parts of the nation in coordination with the U.S. Department of Interior.