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**Photo Release** CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Assess Firefighter Coronavirus Preparedness in Pensacola
PENSACOLA, Fla. – Today, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis met with Pensacola firefighters to assess coronavirus preparedness activities as first responders prepare for the possible entrance of the virus into Florida.
CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “Because of Pensacola’s proximity to the Alabama Port, we’re assessing readiness activities for the coronavirus, as the Alabama Port serves Chinese ships on a weekly basis.
“Coronavirus is causing a lot of disruption at the ports. It takes about a month for a ship to travel from China to the Alabama port, so whatever delays are occurring in China will affect the regional economy.”
The CFO urged fire departments to prepare for equipment challenges.
CFO Patronis continued, “The State Fire Marshal’s Office Administers the State Emergency Response Plan (SERP), so we can facilitate the movement of critical assets in case a region needs it. When it comes to protecting our brave men and women from infectious diseases, face shields and goggles are critical.
“As a result of the coronavirus, suppliers of medical equipment have noticed both an increase in demand and a disruption of their supply-chains.”
The International Association of Firefighters began issuing guidance on how first responders can protect themselves from the deadly disease. Specifically, the Association provided important guidance on:
• Coordinating with municipalities;
• Preparation – by reviewing your department’s exposure control plans;
• Guidance on how to deal with potential exposure; and
• Protection and decontamination strategies.