Jimmy Patronis describes ‘adrenaline rush’ search and rescue teams get from saving lives

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'It's some of the best of humanity that you'll ever get to see.'

Hurricane Idalia made landfall Wednesday morning in Keaton Beach, and areas there and in the Big Bend area have impacts that aren’t completely understood yet.

However, CFO Jimmy Patronis notes that urban search and rescue teams aren’t just ready to do what’s needed in the next critical hours and days. He said the 900 people in state for that purpose are “itching” to get started.

“They live to do this stuff. There’s a certain real energy, a gift of life that they get from saving somebody,” Patronis said. “And it’s almost like an adrenaline rush they get when they come to a disaster like this and they save somebody’s life.”

“They feed off each other. They feed off of the emotions of somebody who knows they’re about to be saved and then they feed off their emotions knowing that they’ve saved somebody’s life,” Patronis added. “So it’s some of the best of humanity that you’ll ever get to see.”

The CFO told interviewer Brian Mudd many of them had just returned from Maui, where that tragedy left many casualties and few lives to be saved, something he hopes isn’t the case in Idalia’s wake.

Patronis also expressed concern that residents in the area didn’t take warnings as seriously as they could have.

“Those parts of the state, in my opinion, simply because they haven’t seen a storm in such a long time, they don’t take the storm quite as seriously,” Patronis said.

“It’s no different than what we saw in Fort Myers Beach,” during Hurricane Ian. You know, these folks, they see the storm, they think they can weather a Cat 3 and then they don’t heed the warnings and then they have catastrophic losses and we have loss of life. So again, the saving grace is the parts of the state that were hit by Idalia weren’t as heavily populated as Ian was.”

He expressed surprise at the extent of people’s “unwillingness to move.”

“There’s going to be less folks that potentially could be in harm’s way, but still, you know, it never ceases to amaze me.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


One comment

  • Jake

    August 30, 2023 at 11:36 am

    Disheartening to learn this site is pay for play…and also proGOP. It’s not news if you’re accepting payment for publishing any agenda. Last visit…👋🏻

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