PENSACOLA, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons to distribute one-time relief checks to staff with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office through the ‘Florida’s Heroes’ initiative.


“Florida’s first responder relief checks allow us to show our appreciation to the law enforcement officers who have remained on the front lines, continuing to keep our neighborhoods safe,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Over the course of the past year and a half, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has protected and served us all, no matter the circumstance.”


“Law enforcement officers in our state make countless sacrifices as they serve our communities,” said Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle. “It is an honor to support Governor DeSantis in his mission to provide relief checks to our first responders in Florida.”


“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.”


“When law enforcement takes the oath to serve and protect our communities it means we stand at the front line of disasters, whether it’s a hurricane or global pandemic,” said Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons. “The men and women of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office didn’t get the option to stay home. We still had to protect and serve even though our families may have been battling the effects of COVID-19. I want to thank Governor DeSantis for his steadfast support of law enforcement and all first responders. He has maintained his support in word and deed, and it matters to the frontline heroes. In these difficult times, it is good to know that we have the support of our community and support from the highest levels of state government.”


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 payment 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 payment 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 addresses 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




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