First responders mental health day marked at fire college
The honor guard is shown during Monday’s event at the Florida State Fire College marking the newly created First Responders Mental Health Awareness Day. [Courtesy Ashley Lopez]
Legislators this year passed a resolution creating the day to recognize the mental health issues faced by firefighters, police officers and paramedics. First responders often face stressful and sometimes dangerous situations on a regular basis. The resolution is part of an effort to urge first responders struggling with mental health issues to seek help.
“We must recognize the importance of supporting our first responders, who selflessly put the lives of others above their own every day and bring awareness to the higher risk of mental health illnesses they are at risk of due to the challenging nature of their jobs,” said Sen. Keith Perry, who introduced the resolution in the Florida Senate.
Perry represents District 8 which includes the northern part of Marion County as well as Alachua and Putnam counties.
“I hope today’s event helps to remove the stigma around first responder’s mental health, leads to more resources to help our heroes and hopefully saves lives,” said Jimmy Patronis, who in addition to being the state’s Chief Financial Officer, is also the State Fire Marshal.