SURFSIDE, Fla. (WTXL) — Dozens of brave and dedicated first responders who spent days searching for signs of life following a devastating condominium building collapse in Surfside were rewarded on Tuesday for their tireless efforts.
Gov. Ron DeSantis handed out $1,000 bonus checks to law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians.
The bonuses are part of a massive funding package approved by the Florida Legislature earlier this year to thank first responders across the state for their heroism. The Surfside emergency crews on Tuesday were among the first to receive those checks.
"We're here to say thank you," DeSantis said. "If we can show a token of appreciation like this, we want to be able to do it."
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The Champlain Towers South condominium building partially collapsed overnight on June 24, killing a total of 98 people.
First responders spent weeks digging through a mound of rubble in a desperate and determined effort to reach any survivors.
"This whole incident in Surfside was a big, big gut punch to so many of our communities in Florida," DeSantis said. "It hurts, and it's something that's gonna leave a mark in this community for a long, long time."