JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With a storm system brewing in the Gulf, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department wants to make sure residents are prepared this hurricane season.
On Tuesday, members of the fire department’s Urban Search and Rescue team showed off their gear and greeted state Chief Financial Officer and Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis.
Patronis signs the checks that help communities rebuild after they’re ravaged by storms. There’s still work to be done in North Florida in the wake of Hurricanes Matthew and Irma.
He placed the blame for the delay in the disbursement of those checks squarely on the shoulders of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“Right now I am not cutting enough of those checks because the feds are not sending enough money,” he said in part.
At Tuesday’s event, city and state leaders highlighted the work performed by North Florida’s Urban Search and Rescue teams, the majority of which come from Jacksonville.
These elite units not only perform high-stakes rescues in the aftermath of severe weather, but also during unique situations that call for specialized training.
“These brave men and women train year-round so they can serve us when disaster strikes,” Patronis said.
In addition to touting crews’ skillsets, Patronis urged Floridians not to procrastinate when it comes to preparing for a hurricane. Especially with the damage left by Irma and Michael.
“Don’t wait until a storm is on the way, prepare now, Florida!”