C F O Patronis'  Weekly Rundown newsletter
DFS Homepage | Past Issues | PDF Volume 15 | Number 9 | March 8, 2018

Dear Fellow Floridians:

Since my first day as CFO and State Fire Marshal, I have spent a lot of time in fire houses across our state. I believe the only way I can advocate for a community is by getting boots on the ground to understand the issues and concerns they may be navigating through. I quickly realized how PTSD affects our firefighters, leading to an exponentially higher suicide rate among our firefighters when compared with the general population.

PTSD is a hidden killer among our first responder Fire Service Awardscommunity. I vowed to fight for our first responders until we got them the benefits and covered treatments they deserve. This week, together we got it done. Senate Bill 376 passed unanimously and Gov. Rick Scott stated he intends to sign this good bill, which will give first responders the access to mental health benefits they deserve.

I thank Governor Scott and all who supported this initiative from day one. This week was not only a time to honor those we have lost, but to celebrate the lives we could save.

Sincerely,

Jimmy
Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

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Ringing of the Bell/Last CallFallen Firefighters Honored

At the Fallen Firefighter Memorial in the courtyard if the Florida Capitol, CFO Jimmy Patronis was joined by Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and members of Florida's fire service community during the annual Ringing of the Bell ceremony; a ceremonial marking of Florida's fallen firefighters.

This year, James F. Dorminy with the Reedy Creek Fire Department and Joseph T. DeMarinis with the Clermont Fire Department were honored as Florida’s two line of duty deaths in 2017. We remember their unwavering commitment to serving their communities and our state.


News of Interest

WTXL 27 Tallahassee: 2018 Fire Service Awards presented

Florida Politics: Bill to help first responders heads to Rick Scott

WJCT Public Media: Senate backs changes in payday loans, worker’s comp in Saturday session

Miami Herald: PTSD legislation could benefit Parkland first responders

Orlando Sentinel: Lawmakers look to ditch credit freeze fees for breach victims

WCTV TV Tallahassee: Woman charged in Tallahassee mortgage fraud scheme

Miami Herald : America’s flood insurance chief has a message for all Floridians: You’re at risk


SFM Patronis Honors Recipients of the 2018 Fire Service Awards on Firefighter Appreciation Day

On Wednesday, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis recognized 13 award winners of the 2018 Fire Service Awards, including Coral Springs Parkland Fire Chief Frank Babinec as Fire Chief of the Year, at a meeting of the Florida Governor and Cabinet.

Fire Service Awards CFO Patronis honored the following Fire Service Awards recipients:

Daniel Chavez – Fire Inspector of the Year
Genevieve Latham – Fire and Life Safety Education of the Year
Erick Thiemann – Fire Service Instructor of the Year
Lee Mayfield – Chad Reed Emergency Preparedness Manager
Jeff Lucas – Fire Marshal of the Year
Jeff Batz – Fire Investigator of the Year
Coral Springs Regional Institute of Public Safety – Fire Training Center of the Year
Heather Mazurkiewicz – Volunteer Firefighter of the Year
John DeWolfe – Forestry Firefighter of the Year
Eloy Ricardo – Professional Firefighter of the Year
Carlos Tavarez and Joshua Granada - Career Firefighters of the Year
Frank Babinec – Fire Chief of the Year

Fire Service Award winners

The Fire Service Awards are coordinated annually by the State Fire Marshal's Office and sponsored by the following fire-service related organizations: the Fire Training Director’s Association, the Florida State Firefighters Association, the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association, the Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association, the Florida Professional Firefighters Association, the Emergency Preparedness Association and the Florida Forest Service.


Overwhelming Support to Eliminate the Credit Report Freeze Fee

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis issued the following statement regarding the unanimous passage of one of his top priorities, House Bill 953, eliminating the fee imposed on Floridians to freeze their credit. The bill will now be ready to head to Gov. Rick Scott for signature.

"Recent reports indicate that Florida is the top state in the nation for consumer fraud, and ranks second for identity theft reports in 2017. We know one of the best ways to protect yourself from fraud is to freeze your credit. Today’s unanimous vote comes in the midst of National Consumer Protection Week and I’m proud Floridians will be able to more easily protect themselves from fraud.

"Thank you to Rep. Shawn Harrison, Sen. Jeffrey Brandes, and Commissioner Adam Putnam for their support of this good bill."


Florida Economic Briefs

Domestic Auto Sales Down in February
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported February’s domestic auto sales (346,700) were down slightly from January’s total of 347,200. However, February’s sales were down 44,000 units from February 2017 (11.3 percent).
Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Up in February
The University of Michigan reported U.S. consumer sentiment increased 4.2 percent from January and 3.5 percent from February 2017. The survey respondents indicated they held "favorable assessments of jobs, wages, and higher after-tax pay" as the reasons for their increased optimism.
Source: University of Michigan

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