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Thirty-nine Ohio fire departments will share $376,517 in grants from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation under a new program to reduce firefighters’ exposure to toxic environmental elements.
The grant money will be used to purchase items such as protective gloves and barrier hoods, among other apparatus, the bureau said Tuesday in a statement.
The fire departments are receiving the funding under the bureau’s Firefighter Exposure to Environmental Elements Grant Program, which provides $2 million a year to help departments purchase safety gear and equipment designed to protect firefighters from carcinogens and other harmful elements during a firefight.
“Our first responders deserve the best tools to protect them against the dangers of fighting a fire,” bureau administrator and CEO Sarah Morrison said in the statement. “Those dangers include toxins and carcinogens that linger on equipment after the firefight is over. With these grants, firefighters across Ohio can purchase equipment that guards against these long-term dangers to their health.”
In under two weeks, current and retired firefighters in Ohio who are suffering from various cancers will be able to collect workers compensation benefits under presumption.