First Responders Appreciation Lunch

By Julie Montanaro
September 28, 5:40pm

Hundreds of first responders arrived on scene at the Leon County fairgrounds Thursday, not for an emergency, but for an appreciation luncheon.

It dished up fish, grits and gratitude for more than 600 first responders in Leon and the surrounding counties. It included a special salute to the many first responders who also wear other hats in the U.S. military.

Florida Corrections Secretary Jim McDonough was the keynote speaker.

"The nation is at war, much of the globe is at war. You don't see a lot of that in the U.S., but there's definitely a threat here and the reason we can go about our business as we do is because we have these brave men and women prepared to keep us safe."

The annual luncheon is local businesses’ way of saying thanks to firefighters and deputies, police and paramedics, troopers and Red Cross volunteers.