COLUMBUS – The Paint Creek Joint EMS/FireDistrict is among 22 Ohio fire departments will share $196,896 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 are receiving the funding under BWC’s Firefighter Exposure to Environmental Elements Grant Program, which helps departments purchase specialized washing machines, fire station exhaust systems and other safety gear designed to minimize exposure to toxic elements.
“We know residue collected on firefighters’ gear during a blaze can cause respiratory disease, cancer and other ailments, which is why BWC started this grant program in 2017,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie B. McCloud. “These dollars save lives and I’m proud BWC is doing its part to protect the first responders who put their lives on the line for us every day.”
Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District (Highland County) will receive $12,101.65 to purchase one extractor, 66 hoods and 30 gloves.
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.
Submitted by Melissa Vince, Ohio Bureau of Workman’s Compensation.