Gov. Ron DeSantis and members of the state cabinet gathered Tuesday morning at the state capitol for the annual “Ringing the Bell” ceremony to honor fallen firefighters in the state.
Two new names were added to the Firefighter Memorial Monument in the capitol courtyard, representing Florida firefighters who died in 2018. Almost 200 names are on the memorial in total. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says it is important to remember the selfless service of all firefighters, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“The firefighters whose names adorn this memorial monument gave their lives to protect their neighbors, and even those that they have never met," Fried said. "That is a true definition of a hero.”
Bills filed for the current legislative session would make firefighters diagnosed with certain types of cancers automatically eligible to receive disability or health benefits. Currently, most firefighters must prove the cancer is job-related. The legislation has passed two of three assigned committees in the Senate.
However, in the House, the measure has yet to be heard, as session reaches its halfway point this week.