The Lynchburg Area Joint Fire & Ambulance District is among 75 Ohio fire departments will share $745,000 in grants from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) under a program to protect firefighters from carcinogens and other harmful elements encountered during a fire fight.
The fire departments are receiving the funding under the 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 it’s cleaned properly.
The Lynchburg Area Joint Fire & Ambulance District received a $3,678 grant to purchase 40 hoods with barrier protection
“Ohio’s firefighting community is confronting the cancer threat head-on by equipping their stations and officers with tools that can protect their health now and into the future,” said Abe Al-Tarawneh, superintendent of BWC’s division of safety and hygiene. “I’m pleased BWC was able to identify and meet this need for hundreds of fire departments across the state.”
Originally funded at $2 million a year, BWC increased funding for the program due to heavy demand and has now awarded more than $3.3 million to 324 fire departments statewide. Yesterday, BWC announced the creation of similar grant programs targeted to police and school safety.
Submitted by Melissa Vince, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.