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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (Editor’s Note: The story above is from a previous report)
Funding for a ‘Health and Wellness Center’ for the members of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department was approved this week as part of an overall state budget signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
The center will reportedly provide spirometry (breathing) testing, biometric screening, vaccinations, blood work, audiometer testing, vision screenings, mental health services and much more for the over 1,600 first responders that work for JFRD.
A funding request submitted by Sen. Aaron Bean suggests that the total project cost of the Health and Wellness Center for Fiscal Year 2022-2023 (including matching funds available for this project) is around $5 million.
Florida Politics reports that Bean and Rep. Wyman Duggan each sought $2.5 million in funding requests to help cover the costs. The outlet reports that $1.25 million was the number eventually agreed to.
That funding was made official Wednesday when Gov. DeSantis signed the state’s budget into law.
“I am pleased to see the additional funding for THEJFRD Health & Wellness Center finalized this week,” tweeted Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. “Making sure that the men & women who put their lives on the line have the best of the best has always been a top priority. Glad to see @GovRonDeSantis agrees! Thank you, Governor.”
In the appropriations project request filed by Duggan, he says that cancer caused 66% of line of duty deaths for first responders and heart disease caused 18%.
“Sudden cardiac death remains the leading cause of death in firefighters, and they are at a risk of dying from cancer than the general population. Colocating the services will minimize the occupational health and safety risks.”
At this time, it’s not clear where the ‘Health & Wellness Center’ will operate or what the timeline is in terms of completion.
First Coast News is working to learn more.
Constantly working to make this city and this department better…thanks so much for all your support! https://t.co/zQDjRrcJ7p
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