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The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation said Tuesday it will expand its funding for a new grant program aimed at protecting firefighters from carcinogens and other toxins that cause long-term health ailments.
A total of $2 million was originally allotted this year for the Firefighter Exposure to Environmental Elements Grant Program, but the bureau has received 444 grant applications seeking nearly $4.7 million in funding, the bureau said in a statement.
The bureau has awarded 199 grants totaling $2 million with four months remaining in the fiscal year, according to the statement.
“Cancer is a leading threat to firefighter health, and we take that threat seriously,” Genoa Township Fire Chief Gary Honeycutt said in the statement. “We are grateful for the BWC grant that has allowed us to remove carcinogens from turnout gear, minimizing health impacts to our firefighters.”
Thirty-eight Ohio fire departments will share $406,270 in grants from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation under a new program to reduce firefighters’ exposure to toxic environmental elements, the bureau announced on Friday.