The Phoenix Flyer

FL Disaster Fund gives $2 million to first responders recovering from Ian damage

By: - October 13, 2022 10:59 am

Gov. Ron DeSantis appeared in Punta Gorda on Oct. 13, 2022. Source: Screenshot/DeSantis Facebook

The Florida Disaster Fund will donate $2 million to help first responders in the Hurricane Ian disaster zone get a start on recovery from damage to their own homes.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the donation during a news conference Thursday in Punta Gorda, flanked by representatives of the Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Police Benevolent Association, Florida Fraternal Order of Police, and Florida Professional Firefighters.

Each of those organizations will receive equal shares in the money to dispense among their members, the governor said.

“We want to do more; this is not the end from the Volunteer Florida-Florida Disaster Fund perspective. We want to do more. I know they’re going to work to raise more, which is good,” DeSantis said.

“But you’re talking about hundreds of people across all these different organizations — police, fire, and first responders who have been impacted by this storm in a significant way.”

The disaster fund is an arm of Volunteer Florida, a state agency that promotes volunteerism including AmeriCorps. First Lady Casey DeSantis has been leading fundraising since the storm landed, pulling in nearly $45 million, according to the governor.

Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell Jr. testified to the dedication his officers displayed by assisting others following the storm even though they’d suffered heavy losses themselves.

“But they still came to work. Even when the cavalry came, my fellow sheriffs, they sent help to help relieve me, help relieve my deputies, I had to force them to go home because they wanted to be out there and they wanted to help,” Prummell said.

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal. He began his career covering the Florida Capitol for United Press International. More recently, he wrote for Florida Politics.