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Florida Professional Firefighters Endorse Governor DeSantis for Re-election

This endorsement marks the first time FPF has endorsed a Republican Governor in 20 years

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Ron DeSantis for Governor re-election campaign received an endorsement from the Florida Professional Firefighters (FPF) at an event in Orlando, Florida. FPF represents 26,000 professional firefighters and emergency medical services personnel across the state. This is the first time they have endorsed a Republican for Governor in 20 years.

“Florida’s firefighters are on the front lines of protecting our communities, putting their lives on the line for their neighbors in need. Their sacrifices make our state a safer place, and we are deeply grateful for their support. I will always have their backs, and I will never stop fighting for Florida’s brave firefighters,” Governor DeSantis said.

“On behalf of the more than 26,000 Florida Professional Firefighters, I am proud to announce our membership’s endorsement of Governor Ron DeSantis for re-election.

“A man of action, his steadfast leadership and support of Florida’s firefighters and paramedics has earned the respect of our members and the Florida Professional Firefighters looks forward to working together with Governor DeSantis in his next term,” Wayne Bernoska, FPF President said.

BACKGROUND:

  • This announcement marks the fourth major first responders’ endorsement for Governor DeSantis. Earlier this year, he was endorsed by the Florida State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police, Florida Police Chiefs Association, and Florida Police Benevolent Association.
  • Provided $1,000 bonuses to first responders for the last two years ($125 million in this year’s budget).
  • Invested $100 million Hometown Heroes Housing Program available to law enforcement officers, firefighters, educators, healthcare professionals, childcare employees, and active military or veterans.
  • Invested $4 million in last two years for the University of Miami-Silvester Comprehensive Cancer Center – Florida Firefighter Cancer Research.
  • Over the last two years, funding was provided for 20 fire stations totaling $41 million and over $4.4 million in fire trucks.
  • In 2022, HB 689 outlines a process for Workers’ Compensation Benefits for First Responders specifically focused on PTSD claims.
  • In 2022, HB 31 Firefighter Inquiries and Investigation passed securing their rights during an informal inquiry and not just an interrogation and provides that a firefighter may not be subjected to certain disciplinary action during an informal inquiry or interrogation.
  • In 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed CS/CS/SB 426 granting certain benefits to a firefighter upon receiving a diagnosis of cancer.
  • Invested $10 million in the Freedom First Budget for Florida’s eight Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams to support operations and training exercises to ensure that they are ready to respond immediately in the event of a disaster.
  • First Lady Casey DeSantis launched a $12 million dollar program to expand peer-to-peer mental health services available for first responders through the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to bolster existing prevention and intervention services for first responders and their families.

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