SWFL first responders honored, given grants for work after Hurricane Ian

Reporter: Jolena Esperto Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:


First responders in Southwest Florida were honored on Sunday for their work after Hurricane Ian.

The Gary Sinise Foundation presented outreach grants worth almost $250,000.

City of Fort Myers firetruck. CREDIT: WINK News

Before the event, the Gary Sinise Foundation donated a $42,000 cardiac monitor to Sanibel Fire Rescue after losing theirs in the storm.

The event had a barbeque, a bounce house, a rock wall, and music by Walker Montgomery, ensuring entertainment for everyone.

WINK News spoke with the foundation’s executive director, Donna Palmer, and the Sanibel Fire Chief, Kevin Barbot, about the event.

“The things that they run into are the things that we run away from. And so we want to make sure that we recognize them and their sacrifice and their family sacrifice,” Palmer said.

People attending the event in downtown Fort Myers. CREDIT: WINK News

“It’s always a welcome, you know, to receive the appreciation of the public. It’s never gone away. The public loves first responders, they love fire, they love police, they love their EMS service, specifically in Lee County. And we thank you for that, and we thank the public,” Barbot said.

$240,000 in outreach grants were given to first responders on Sunday along with $52,000 in grants to help first responders fix their homes.

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