MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Governor Ron DeSantis returned to Surfside on Tuesday to thank first responders in person, expressing his gratitude for all their hard work and putting their lives on the line every day.
DeSantis said at the beginning of the year, part of his proposed budget was a bonus for first responders across the state as a way to say thank you.READ MORE: US Dept. Of Health: Number Of COVID-19 Hospitalizations In Florida Continue To Decline
“We proposed as part of our package $1,000 bonuses for every police, law enforcement, and EMT in the state of Florida. And so we were able to get the legislature to approve it,” he said. “So we’re now in a position where we finally are able to deliver checks to people to say thank you, and this was the right thing to do anyway.”
The governor signed off on the budget at the beginning of June, less than a month later came the collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside. He then saw firsthand the tireless work of the first responders.READ MORE: Florida Joins Fight Against Airline Partnership Between American Airlines & JetBlue
‘”You were doing all you can to stand with those families. So I know how tough it was because I was here. I was here every day for those first couple of weeks. I know how hard people worked. I know how hard particularly Task Force One and Two worked,” said DeSantis. “So we thank you for doing that. We want to recognize you today for your service.”
The governor also spoke about the tragedy of those who were lost in the collapse.
“The folks that we lost, just a remarkable group of people, some of the best families you’ve ever seen with so many people,” said DeSantis. “It hurts and it’s something that’s gonna that’s going to leave a mark in this community for a long, long time. But it’s tough as that was, I think the fact that those families can look and say, you guys were there, you did everything you could.”MORE NEWS: Man Who Suffered Severe Burns Reunites With Staff Who Helped Save His Life At Kendall Regional Medical Center
At the end of his remarks, DeSantis personally handed out the thousand-dollar bonus checks to the first responders who were in attendance.