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Governor DeWine Announces Wellness Support for Dozens of First Responder Agencies

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that 62 local first responder agencies will receive a total of $9.9 million to help support the wellness and staffing needs of Ohio's first responders. 

The grants represent the fourth round of the new Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Program. To date, Governor DeWine has awarded $20.9 million to 117 Ohio agencies as part of this program, which aims to address burnout caused by understaffing as well as overall job stress.

“When there is an emergency, we all count on the fact that someone will be there to respond to the call for help," said Governor DeWine. "The programming and supports funded through this grant program will support first responders' wellness needs so they remain on the job and are there when we need them."

A total of approximately $75 million will be awarded to law enforcement agencies, dispatch centers, fire departments, and emergency medical services agencies as part of this program in coming months.

Entities receiving grant funding as part of the fourth round of the Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Program are as follows:

Akron Fire Department (Summit County) will receive $42,000 for peer support training and for overtime costs associated with attending the training.
Belpre Volunteer Fire Department (Washington County) will receive $100,000 to implement a wellness coordinator program.
Brunswick Hills Township Fire Department (Medina County) will receive $3,264.80 to offer an Employee Assistance Program and wellness training for staff.
Camden Somers Township Fire & Rescue (Preble County) will receive $56,100 for peer support training.
Canton Township Fire Department (Stark County) will receive $185,758.72 to hire four part-time firefighters/paramedics.
Central Joint Fire-EMS District (Clermont County) will receive $21,600 for two mental health and physical wellness screenings for all personnel.
Chagrin Valley Dispatch (Cuyahoga County) will receive $45,000 for training an emotional support K9 and handler, expanded peer support training, and an officer wellness position.
Cincinnati Police Department (Hamilton County) will receive $147,492.80 for mental health wellness programs for sworn personnel, a wellness coordinator position, and a mental wellness educational event.
Cleveland Heights Fire Department (Cuyahoga County) will receive $23,400 for a peer support training class for police and fire personnel.
Crestline Police Department (Crawford County) will receive $16,000 for a semiannual wellness evaluation for all personnel.
Cuyahoga Emergency Communications System (Cuyahoga County) will receive $5,478 for online peer support, stress and resiliency courses, and peer support certification.
Dayton Police Department (Montgomery County) will receive $388,571.41 for a comprehensive wellness program, peer support training, and a wellness app for all staff.
Defiance County 911 Center will receive $13,000 for annual wellness checks for all personnel and resources for depression, anxiety, and medication use.
Defiance Fire & Rescue Division (Defiance County) will receive $794,835 to hire three full-time firefighters with sign-on bonuses and one full-time battalion chief.
Defiance Police Department (Defiance County) will receive $21,578.60 for online training and a mobile wellness app.
East Cleveland Fire Department (Cuyahoga County) will receive $345,678.95 to hire five full-time firefighters.
Elm Valley Joint Fire District (Delaware County) will receive $154,041.68 to hire four part-time firefighters/EMTs.
Erhart York Township Fire Department (Medina County) will receive $108,841.36 to hire five part-time firefighters/EMTs.
Evendale Fire Department (Hamilton County) will receive $8,200 for a mobile wellness app.
Fairfield Fire Department (Butler County) will receive $735,135.87 to hire three full-time firefighters/paramedics.
Fairfield Township Fire Department (Butler County) will receive $9,000 for peer support training for personnel.
Fremont Fire Department (Sandusky County) will receive $7,200 for monthly yoga therapy and mindfulness support for all department personnel.
Gasper Township Fire/EMS (Preble County) will receive $265,991 to hire three part-time firefighters/EMT paramedics and to offer wellness evaluations and follow-up sessions for all personnel.
Gratis EMS (Preble County) will receive $845,104.51 to hire three full-time paramedics, one full-time advanced EMT, three part-time EMTs, and three part-time paramedics.
Hamilton Township Police Department (Warren County) will receive $41,750 for annual wellness assessments for personnel.
Hilliard Division of Police (Franklin County) will receive $70,272 for semiannual wellness appointments for all personnel.
Huber Heights Fire Division (Montgomery County) will receive $547,093.34 to hire one full-time firefighter and one captain.
Ironton Police Department (Lawrence County) will receive $1,920 for semiannual wellness sessions with a licensed clinician for all personnel.
Jackson County EMS will receive $12,400 for wellness visits and nutrition classes for personnel.
Jackson Township Fire Department (Stark County) will receive $116,549 for peer support and resiliency training for all firefighters and critical incident stress management training and certification for one firefighter.
Jefferson Township Fire Department (Franklin County) will receive $74,700 for resiliency training and annual wellness checks for firefighters.
Kent Fire Department (Portage County) will receive $102,500 for wellness evaluations with a licensed clinician for all personnel, a wellness phone app, and a semi-annual supervisor mental health training.
Kent State University Police (Portage County) will receive $45,500 for training for a therapy K9 for daily interaction within the department, overtime for critical incident stress management calls for sworn and dispatch personnel, contracts with licensed clinician/nutritionist, and yoga for the agency wellness plan.
Lorain County Sheriff’s Office will receive $36,000 for four wellness checks for each deputy.
Madison Township Fire Department (Butler County) will receive $141,909 to hire two full-time paramedics.
Marietta Police & Fire Departments (Washington County) will receive $127,750 for up to 10 one-hour sessions with a crisis counselor for employees and a mobile wellness app.
Marysville Police & Fire Departments (Union County) will receive $11,616 for first responder annual wellness checkups.
Mayfield Heights Fire Department (Cuyahoga County) will receive $29,765.88 for an agency wellness program that includes clinical support, 24/7 resources for traumatic events, critical incident stress management for the long-term effects of post-traumatic stress, and physical exams.
Meigs County EMS will receive $311,167.28 to hire two full-time paramedics.
Mid-County Joint Ambulance District (Ottawa County) will receive $4,590 for a mobile wellness app.
Monroeville Police Department (Huron County) will receive $7,322.20 for annual clinician visits for all first responders and a mobile wellness app.
North College Hill Police Department (Hamilton County) will receive $12,851.20 for peer support and critical incident stress management training and for backfill and overtime pay for staff to attend training.
Parma Fire Department (Cuyahoga County) will receive $771,396.90 to hire five full-time firefighters.
Perry Port Salem Ambulance District (Shelby County) will receive $10,750 for wellness assessments twice a year and annual follow-up wellness evaluations.
Polk Jackson Perry Fire District (Ashland County) will receive $243,000 to hire two full-time firefighters/EMT paramedics.
Port Clinton Fire & Rescue (Ottawa County) will receive $51,300 for annual wellness evaluations for all department personnel.
Shaker Heights Fire Department (Cuyahoga County) will receive $29,400 for wellness and nutrition resources, peer support training, three wellness presentations per year, and individual wellness assessments.
Sharonville Fire Department (Hamilton County) will receive $650,055 to hire three full-time firefighters/paramedics.
Shelby Police & Fire Departments (Richland County) will receive $20,000 for a mobile wellness app.
Solon Fire Department (Cuyahoga County) will receive $14,400 to contract with a licensed clinician for wellness checks for personnel.
South Euclid Fire Department (Cuyahoga County) will receive $10,500 for frontline wellness workshops for all personnel and shift coverage for personnel attending training.
Springfield Fire Rescue Division (Clark County) will receive $111,559 for on-site wellness checks for all firefighters for two years and peer support and fitness training.
TEMS Joint Ambulance District (Jefferson County) will receive $198,612 to hire a wellness coordinator and for three clinical sessions annually for all EMS personnel.
Thorn Township Fire Department (Perry County) will receive $532,837.71 to hire three full-time firefighters/paramedics for two years.
Toledo Police Department (Lucas County) will receive $173,400 for annual clinician visits for all officers for two years, treatment sessions, and research to analyze the program.
Trenton Fire Department (Butler County) will receive $555,340 to hire five part-time firefighters/paramedics and four part-time firefighters/EMTs.
Troy Police Department (Miami County) will receive $6,774.78 for wellness checks for sworn personnel and overtime for checks after regular shift hours.
University Heights Fire Department (Cuyahoga County) will receive $204,600 for peer and clinical support, stress training, and fitness and medical exams for all personnel.
Wadsworth Police Department (Medina County) will receive $59,732 for annual clinician wellness checks, clinician ride-alongs, and fitness evaluations and training for sworn and dispatch personnel.
Washington Township Fire Department (Franklin County) will receive $37,800 for annual wellness checks for all firefighters.
West Chester Township Police & Fire Departments (Butler County) will receive $179,200 for annual wellness checks and clinician visits for all personnel.
Willard Fire and Rescue Department (Huron County) will receive $39,144.36 for annual wellness reviews with a clinician for all first responders, three crisis trauma counseling visits, and a mobile wellness app.
The Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Program is administered by the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. The program awards funding for initiatives that support wellness programs addressing mental, physical, and emotional health issues unique to first responders; recruitment and retention efforts to restore workforce levels; onboarding and training costs; and explorer programs to engage young adults about first responder careers. The $75 million in funding to be awarded as part of the program includes approximately $1.3 million that was awarded to several statewide service providers in June.

MORE: Full List of Wellness Grant Awards Rounds 1-4

The program is funded as part of the $250 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding that Governor DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly dedicated to first responders last year to help counter various pressing issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased stress and decreased staffing levels.

Governor DeWine has also placed enhanced focus on the wellness of first responders through the creation of the Ohio Office of First Responder Wellness within the Ohio Department of Public Safety. The new statewide office focuses exclusively on the well-being of first responders and provides specialized support and training to help emergency-response agencies proactively address post-traumatic stress and other traumas caused by factors that are unique to first-responder careers.

Other assistance for first responders developed by Governor DeWine since taking office in 2019 includes the creation of the Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center, Ohio School Safety Center, Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment, Ohio Prisoner Extradition Reimbursement Program, Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program, Ohio Ballistics Testing Initiative, Ohio Crime Lab Efficiency Program, Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program, Ohio Court Backlog Reduction Program, and the new eWarrant database.