Second annual First Responders Rally at the Historic Capitol

The community of Tallahassee gathered to show their respect Saturday afternoon at the First Responders Rally in front of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum. This was the second year Governor Scott declared the first week of January as Florida First Responders Appreciation Week.

First responders are firefighters, law enforcement officers and EMTs who protect and serve the community.

Kelli Bracci, the coordinator of the event, said the men and women in the community would take a bullet for any of the members of the society they serve.  

“There are numerous officers in our own community that give homeless people shoes, blankets and food from their own homes, bring bikes and helmets to children in poorer neighborhoods and spend their personal time coaching or playing with kids all over the city,” Bracci said.

Although weather conditions were bad, a few people, like Tallahassee resident Jerry Angulo, stayed around to be apart of what they felt was a great experience.

“I just believe in the whole cause,” Angulo said. “The way that things are going now in the United States, I worry about us. I worry about grandkids. I worry about you. I worry about everybody. Things are just crazy.”

Tonnie Rollins, the Captain firefighter at the Tallahassee Fire Department, said he just wanted to help individuals as far as safety and he loves the outdoors.

“I worked in the state government for five years and during the summer on the nice, sunny days I want to be on the outside and being able to help people is a bonus,” Rollins said.

Antonio Leon, prison transporter for the Leon County Sheriff’s Department, has been working for the LCSD for twenty-six years. Leon said he was inspired to become a first responder.

“I just wanted to be apart of the solution, and not the problem,” Leon said.