Columbus, OH – More than 100 Ohio fire departments will share $1.1 million in grants from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) under a program to protect firefighters from carcinogens and other harmful health hazards encountered by firefighters during their daily work activities.
The fire departments (listed below) are receiving the funding under BWC’s Firefighter Exposure to Environmental Elements Grant Program, which helps departments purchase safety gear, exhaust systems and specialized washing machines. Because residue collected on firefighters’ gear during a blaze can cause respiratory disease, cancer and other ailments, it is important not only to wear appropriate protective gear, but also to ensure its cleaned properly.
“The immediate dangers firefighters face when battling a fire are clear,” said Dr. Abe Al-Tarawneh, Superintendent of BWC’s Division of Safety and Hygiene. “It’s the less visible dangers and health hazards leading to slow erosion of firefighters’ health that went unrecognized for too long. We’re hopeful this unique grant program will not only protect firefighters from exposure to those health hazards, but will also enhance the culture of safety in Ohio’s fire service.”
The grant program, announced as a component of BWC’s 2017 rebate, provides a 5-to-1 match up to $15,000 for public and private employers with annual payroll of at least $500,000. No match is required for employers with less than $500,000 in payroll. More about the program is available at bwc.ohio.gov.
A list of recipients is available here: Ohio BWC – $1.1 Million in Grants to Protect Ohio Firefighters
Source: Ohio BWC