On May 5, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that nearly $70 million in grant funding is available for the recruitment and wellness needs of Ohio's first responders.
The $70 million in grants is part of the $250 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding that Governor DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly dedicated to first responders to help counter various pressing issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased stress and decreased staffing levels.
Law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services agencies are among the first responder entities eligible for funding. Grants may be directed toward priorities such as 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 application for the Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Grant Program is available on the Ohio Department of Public Safety's website. The deadline to submit a grant application is June 17, 2022, at 5 p.m.
Entities can apply for up to two years of funding. For technical assistance, contact that Ohio Emergency Management Agency at (614) 306-8461 and ask to speak to the grants coordinator.