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CFO Jimmy Patronis: Florida’s Urban Search & Rescue Teams Stand Ready for Tropical Storm Isaias

7/30/2020

 

CFO Jimmy Patronis: Florida’s Urban Search & Rescue Teams Stand Ready for Tropical Storm Isaias

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As Tropical Storm Isaias threatens to impact Florida this weekend, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis highlights the vital disaster response efforts of Florida’s fire service community including the state’s dedicated Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams. Currently there are seven US&R teams that are status level "green," meaning they are prepared for deployment. CFO Patronis’ Division of State Fire Marshal is the lead agency overseeing two Emergency Support Functions (ESF) at the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) during a disaster or state emergency. In dealing with the challenges of COVID-19, the staff supporting the SEOC was already activated.   CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “As we closely monitor Tropical Storm Isaias, I held a call today with fire chiefs from across Florida to ensure our first responders are prepared for the potential impacts of heavy rain, flooding, and strong winds to our state this weekend. Our dedicated Urban Search and Rescue Teams stand ready at a moment’s notice to deploy life-saving resources to impacted communities immediately following landfall. Although the path of this storm remains uncertain, it is imperative that you take this threat seriously as tropical storms can change course and intensify quickly. I encourage all Floridians to prepare now by visiting PrepareFL.com for important storm resources and tips.”

 

In an effort to avoid the coronavirus and respond to this emergency, the agency is utilizing technology and teleworking to a higher degree. Moreover, some deployment strategies may be augmented to allow first responders to deploy directly from their homes. At the height of the pandemic, approximately 1,800 first responders were out-of-commission as many were quarantining but as that number continues drop by the hundreds, more firefighters are coming back online.

 

###   About CFO Jimmy Patronis  Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).