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Governor DeWine Announces Seventh Round of Wellness Support for First Responder Agencies

Governor DeWine Announces Seventh Round of Wellness Support for First Responder Agencies

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that 20 local first responder agencies will receive a total of nearly $4 million to help support wellness and staffing needs.

The grants represent the seventh round of the Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Program. To date, Governor DeWine has awarded nearly $65 million to 250 Ohio agencies as part of this program, which aims to address burnout caused by understaffing and overall job stress.

“We are proud to offer this support to our local first responders because keeping them healthy is key to keeping our communities safe,” said Governor DeWine. 

A total of approximately $95 million will be awarded to law enforcement agencies, dispatch centers, fire departments, and emergency medical services agencies as part of the program.


SUMMARIES: Wellness Grant Awards Round 7

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 funding awarded to date includes approximately $1.3 million for several statewide service providers.

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 to help counter various pressing issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased stress and decreased staffing levels.

MORE: Wellness Grant Awards by County (Rounds 1-7)

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.

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