‘They have been there:’ Gov. DeSantis praises first responders working through pandemic

First responders will receive $1,000 checks

DeSantis sets election dates to fill late Rep. Alcee Hastings's House seat

TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. – In light of the Florida Legislature passing a $101.5 billion budget Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis stopped by Temple Terrace to celebrate the budget that includes $1,000 bonuses for first responders.

“There’s a lot of people in our society that had the luxury, when COVID hit, of working from home, doing Zoom calls, doing all that,” DeSantis said. “And I don’t begrudge anyone for doing that, that’s fine if that’s what you can do, but these folks can’t. They can’t respond to an emergency on Zoom.”

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DeSantis praised the legislature for passing the budget he says doubles the state’s “rainy day fund” in comparison to last year.

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis joined the governor and reiterated first responders were faced with unprecedented challenges.

“As they’ll have a little bit of extra love in their paycheck, that’s not gonna make up on top of sacrifice, they’ve taken away from their family, their friends and their loved ones as they fell through COVID-19 pandemic,” Patronis said.

Mayor Andrew Ross started his role at the start of the pandemic, and he thanked the local first responders for providing security throughout the pandemic.

“As you know, and everybody here I think knows, first responders are a vital part of the backbone of our community. If you don’t have public safety. You don’t have anything,” he said.

The governor’s stop at the Temple Terrace Fire Department was his second stop Wednesday, following a news conference in Satellite Beach where he promised checks to every sworn police officer, firefighter, paramedic and EMT in Florida.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.