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CFO Jimmy Patronis Highlights Resources for First Responders on PTSD Awareness Day

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In recognition of Saturday, June 27 as PTSD Awareness Day, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is raising awareness on the mental health challenges facing Florida’s first responders and highlighting the availability of PTSD training and benefits to aid Florida’s heroes in managing the effects of their often dangerous profession.

CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “PTSD within our first responder community is real. Firefighters alone attempt suicide at a rate much higher than the general population and these heroes encounter unthinkable tragedy on the job as they work to protect our communities. Three years ago, I was fortunate to meet Megan Vila and she told me the story of her brother Stevie LaDue, a Tampa firefighter who tragically lost his fight with PTSD because he couldn’t get access to the help he needed. I’m proud to say with Megan’s help, our first responders now have access to vital training and benefits for PTSD and now they know they are not alone.

“Over the years, we’ve also heard terrible stories about the impact tragedies like Pulse and Parkland have on our first responders and their families. As State Fire Marshal, I advocated for the passage of this important legislation to help our first responders recognize and manage PTSD and provide essential benefits now available through Florida’s Workers’ Compensation system. I’m proud today to highlight these benefits and stand by Florida’s first responders, just as they stand with us.”
CFO Patronis' Division of Workers’ Compensation provides a framework for employing agencies of first responders to build upon for the educational requirement in the PTSD law. Agencies can learn more and download the training materials here.
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