JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis distributed one-time relief checks to first responders with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office through the ‘Florida’s Heroes’ initiative. The Governor was joined at the event by Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams and Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.


“First responders work every single day – no matter the conditions – to keep us safe,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “That was perhaps never more apparent than during the last year and a half during the pandemic. I am proud to deliver these checks to show our immense gratitude for thier service.”


“The Department is honored to assist Governor DeSantis as he continues to fulfill his commitment by providing relief payments to our states’ heroes, who make sacrifices daily to serve,” said Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle. “I am honored we had the opportunity to take part in his important initiative.”


“It is great to see today’s focus on thanking our first responders, not only for their tireless work during the pandemic, but their service day in and day out in our communities,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson. “These dedicated women and men are at their best when we are facing some of life’s most challenging moments. They stand with us when a loved one is facing a medical emergency, when a home is damaged by a fire and in so many other difficult circumstances. Today, the Florida Legislature and our Governor are proud to stand with these dedicated first responders, and I hope these bonuses will serve as a reminder that their hard work is seen and appreciated.”


“At a time when we needed them most, Florida’s first responders stepped into the breach to answer the call of their communities,” said House Speaker Chris Sprowls. “Today we honor their dedication and sacrifice with a token of appreciation for their service to our great state.”


“I cannot thank Governor DeSantis enough for his steadfast commitment to law enforcement,” said Sheriff Mike Williams. “He has been constant in his support of the officers out there on the front lines. Serving the community through tough times is what the men and women of JSO are committed to doing every day. Since the pandemic hit early last year, our community was certainly challenged more than we could have ever imagined. With the support of our Governor, we have all worked hard to make sure Jacksonville and our great state of Florida are safer than ever. And while we are in no way out of the woods, I am confident that we can start to see a glimmer of light in the year ahead. Thank you!”


“I want to thank Governor DeSantis for recognizing the critical role that our law enforcement have in our community,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “Over the past year, the men and women of JSO have made countless sacrifices to keep the people of Jacksonville safe. I’m honored to join the Governor today to reward them with $1,000 bonuses.”


To see the full video from the event, please click HERE. Feel free to use this footage in your broadcasting.


This initiative is an opportunity to recognize law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and firefighters in the state of Florida, with a one-time relief check of up to $1,000 as an appreciation of the many selfless sacrifices made throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Department of Economic Opportunity was allocated approximately $208 million to distribute one-time relief payments of up to $1,000 to over 193,000 first responders, including more than 49,000 sworn law enforcement officers, 40,000 EMTs, 35,000 firefighters and 33,000 paramedics across the state. Payments will be issued and mailed to employee mailing address provided by the employer.


Employers still have the opportunity to provide the Department of Economic Opportunity with a list of their eligible employees. If employers have questions or need to provide the Department with their employees, please contact DEO directly at PandemicFirstResponderPayments@deo.myflorida.com.




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