Legislation moving to provide mental health coverage to first responders

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - During the annual Ringing of the Bell ceremony for fallen firefighters, Governor Rick Scott announced he plans to sign legislation that would require workers' comp for first responders to cover mental health the same way it covers physical injuries.

The bill addresses the high suicide rates of firefighters and other first responders that results from the tragic incidents they witness on a regular basis. The legislation was a priority of Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis.

“To ensure that our firefighters' needs, those silent needs that we don't hear about are truly addressed and those benefits that they needed in order to get the help possible will become a reality and the Governor just concluded with that, he'll sign it, so it's actually a really great day of celebration of life, too,” said Patronis.

Two firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty were honored at the ceremony; James F. Dorminy with Reedy Creek Fire Department and Joseph T. DeMarinis with Clermont Fire Department.