UPDATED 8:42 AM PT – Friday, October 14, 2022
Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) announced a donation of over $2 million to first responders affected by Hurricane Ian.
During a press conference on Thursday, DeSantis revealed that the Florida Disaster Fund has raised more than $45 million to help Floridians. $2 million of the funds will go to first responder organizations.
“Today I’m happy to announce $2 million towards those efforts for our first responders to help get them back on their feet from the Florida Disaster Fund,” he said. “So, you’ll have $5,000 each to the charitable arms of the Florida Sherriff’s Association and FBA, Florida Fraternal Order of Police and Florida Professional Firefighters Association.”
The Florida Sheriff’s Association has reported that over 65 officers and personnel have been affected by the hurricane. This number is in addition to the more than 300 members impacted within the Florida Professional Firefighters.
The Governor noted that while many of these first responders lost their homes, they have still continued to show up to help keep Floridians safe.
Law enforcement officials, such as the President of the South Police Benevolent Association Steadman Stahl, thanked Governor DeSantis and Florida’s First Lady for their support.
“When you are out there working trying to do the job, keeping the evil way from, from good, you always had that in the back of your mind ‘what are you going to do about your house, your family, how are you going to get by’,” Stahl said. “In this token, I can tell you Governor, is going to relieve a lot of that stress that the officers are going through out there. On behalf of all the officers, I want to say thank you.”
Charlotte County Sheriff, Bill Pummel, also spoke at the conference. He said that the state has suffered a great loss but will bounce back and be stronger than ever.
“I am so very proud of my men and women of this organization,” he said. “The amount of the position they hold. They were here before, during and after the storm. They responded to your needs. Lending you a compassionate ear or a helping hand.”
Governor DeSantis expressed that he hopes the funding is just the beginning of an outpouring of support to help first responders tackle their own recovery.