Columbus, OH – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator John Logue recently announced that local volunteer fire departments are now eligible to receive up to $15,000 in grants to pay for firefighting safety gear.
Following a recommendation from Governor DeWine’s Ohio Volunteer Fire Service Task Force, BWC has now broadened eligibility for its Firefighter Exposure to Environmental Elements Grants (FEEEG) to include emergency response “turnout” gear for local volunteer fire departments.
“The safety of our first responders in Ohio is a top priority,” said Governor DeWine. “Making this equipment more accessible to volunteer fire departments will help protect firefighters who are dedicated to the critical work of serving their local communities.”
With this change to FEEEG eligibility, volunteer fire departments can now apply for up to $15,000 every three years for firefighting gear such as trousers, boots, suspenders, and jackets.
“We know the impact minimizing exposure to dangerous environmental elements has on the safety and health of firefighters,” said Administrator Logue. “We’ve seen this program positively impact fire departments throughout Ohio and we are proud this expansion will protect more Ohioans for years to come.”
Governor DeWine created the Ohio Volunteer Fire Service Task Force in April 2022 to study volunteer fire service in Ohio. The group was chaired by State Fire Marshal Kevin Reardon and comprised of local elected officials and firefighters from across the state. The task force issued a 31-page report in February (PDF) with several recommendations surrounding various topics including volunteer recruitment, retention, and training.
“We are pleased this recommendation is being implemented,” said Fire Marshal Reardon. “This expansion will make a direct, positive impact on improving the volunteer fire service in Ohio.”
Source: Ohio BWC