TLH firefighters honored for working Surfside catastrophe

Surfside firefigther who saved hi soon.
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 8:40 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Florida state Fire Marshall and CFO Jimmy Patronis honored local search and rescue teams Tuesday for their efforts and assistance with last June’s building collapse in Surfside. The shockwaves from the building collapse are still being felt eight months later.

Members of the Florida Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 7, based in Tallahassee, received ‘challenge coins’ to honor their work at the Champlin Towers South.

The task force spent nine days in Miami-Dade County assisting with the search and recuse efforts, working 12 hour shifts and getting maybe three or four hours of sleep a night.

Captain Allen Willis said the work was tough. Capt. Willis said one memory that will stick with him forever is the moment they found the body of a fellow firefighter’s daughter.

“The complete silence, that eerie feeling we got from that, it was just unbelievable. We were there to help, but our hearts go out to the family and those that lost their lives at that event,” said Capt. Willis.

CFO Patronis also used the ceremony to campaign for $10 million dollars to be included in the state’s budget to fund these kinds of task force.

According to Patronis, Gov. Ron DeSantis fully supports the funding, as does the State Senate. But there are wrinkles to iron out in the House before the money ends up in the budget.

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