The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2024

Grants available to volunteer fire depts.

Submitted information

COLUMBUS — Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator John Logue have 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.

Mike DeWine

“The safety of our first responders in Ohio is a top priority,” DeWine said. “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,” Logue said. “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 with several recommendations surrounding various topics including volunteer recruitment, retention, and training.

“We are pleased this recommendation is being implemented,” Fire Marshal Reardon said. “This expansion will make a direct, positive impact on improving the volunteer fire service in Ohio.”

Volunteer fire departments interested in applying for FEEEG funding can visit BWC’s Grant Management Portal to complete an application.

POSTED: 07/28/23 at 8:11 pm. FILED UNDER: News