Honoring Florida’s Courageous First Responders

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~Governor Scott proclaims next week First Responder Appreciation Week in Florida~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — To honor the courage and commitment thousands of men and women who serve as law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMT’s) display every day, Governor Rick Scott has proclaimed next week, January 5 through 9, as First Responder Appreciation Week in Florida.  These brave men and women serve and protect nearly 20 million residents as well as aid and assist the millions of visitors who come to our state from around the world each year.

“First responders put their lives on the line every time they put on their uniform.  They spend many hours and holidays away from their families in the name of public safety.  Not only are they courageous in the face of danger and leaders in times of crisis, they protect and save lives,” said Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “I appreciate Governor Scott’s proclamation honoring these individuals that are brave with their lives every day and make Florida a safer place to live and visit.”

Tarpon Springs Police Officer Charles Kondek and Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Smith were both killed in the line of duty this month.  Earlier this year, Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Chelsea Richard was killed while working a traffic crash on Interstate 75.  These deaths serve as a stark reminder of the risks first responders face each time they respond to a call for help.

In his proclamation, Gov. Scott says “each loss of a law enforcement officer is heartbreaking, and losing two heroes in less than a month is a cry for peace and a signal to all Floridians to pray for our men and women in uniform who protect our communities each day.”  The Governor’s proclamation calls on all Floridians to offer encouragement by displaying “acts of kindness and appreciation” to all first responders.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles honors Florida Highway Patrol Troopers who work each day to keep Florida residents and visitors safe.   To learn more about the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Florida Highway Patrol, visit, follow us on Twitter @FLHSMV or find us on Facebook.