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First Responder

Josh Vandegrift was just starting a 24-hour shift for the Cocoa Fire Department on Florida’s Space Coast when the call came in: A pedestrian had been hit by a vehicle about 100 yards from the station where he worked.

An Orlando police officer with post-traumatic stress disorder from the Pulse nightclub shooting gets his last paycheck today.

 

A Pulse first responder will receive his final paycheck next Thursday after post-traumatic stress disorder has left him out of work for about a year.  

Gerry Realin spent four hours taking care of the dead at Pulse.

His wife Jessica says he went on disability and then was paid through a city crime prevention fund, but now the family has been told his sick and vacation time are gone.

“I’ve been wondering, What is really Orlando United? Is it the victims? Is it the survivors? Is it our community? What does that really mean?”

  Gerry Realin spent four hours with the dead inside of Pulse Night Club.

He remembers the blood. The smell. The scene was so bad, the eight-member Hazmat team wouldn’t let any other officers help them remove the bodies. That way fewer people had to witness what they saw.