$1.67M for First Responder Wellness | News, Sports, Jobs
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently announced the first round of funding to be awarded to local first responder organizations under the new Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention and Resilience Program.
A total of 26 agencies will receive $1.67 million to help them support the healthcare needs of law enforcement officers, dispatchers, firefighters, paramedics and EMTs.
“Our first responders face a daily challenge to provide the highest level of assistance and care to Ohioans in traumatic circumstances, as they have little to no time to effectively process the stress caused by these situations.” said DeWine. “We created this grant program to help our first responders take care of themselves so they can continue to care for others.”
Companies eligible for funding under the first round of the Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Program are:
∫ Beachwood Police Department (Cuyahoga County): $29,750 for an employee assistance program and access to an online wellness app for confidential support.
∫ Beavercreek Police Department (Greene County): $23,629 for a wellness program coordinator, peer support team training, and access to an online wellness app for confidential support.
∫ Bellefontaine Police Department (Logan County): $119,420 for wellness and fitness programs, including nutritional counseling, physical therapy, and mental health wellness checks.
∫ Brecksville Police & Fire Departments (Cuyahoga County): $14,800 for fire and law enforcement wellness plans.
∫ Canton Police Department (Stark County): $124,400 for consulting services in the employee assistance program and a dedicated wellness coordinator.
∫ Cleveland Department of Public Safety (Cuyahoga County): $310,000 for hiring two therapists, access to an online app for confidential wellness support, and training mindfulness teachers.
Defiance County 911 Center: $25,000 for an employee health and wellness program.
Delaware Police Department (Delaware County): $34,800 for annual mental wellbeing assessments.
Eagle Joint Fire District (Trumbull County): $1,974 to provide employees and their families access to up to five free professional counseling sessions per year.
Grove City Division of Police (Franklin County): $12,400 for a peer support program.
Hicksville Police Department (Defiance County): $8,300 for peer support training, access to an online wellness app, and incident stress intervention.
Huron County Sheriff’s Office: $63,172.04 for hiring a wellness coordinator, offering trauma counseling, and access to an online confidential wellness support app.
Logan Police Department (Hocking County): $20,293.54 for access to an online app that provides confidential wellness support and a wellness training module.
Lucas County Sheriff’s Office: $38,720 for employee support sessions focused on wellness and disease prevention.
Mayfield Village Police & Fire Departments (Cuyahoga County): $173,340.40 for a comprehensive mental health, wellness, and physical fitness program for fire and law enforcement.
Miami Township Fire & EMS (Clermont County): $220,000 for hiring a frontline behavioral health support specialist to work with police, fire and EMS on various services, including debriefing of critical incidents.
Montville Township Police Department (Medina County): $13,898.75 to offer employees and their families a mental health program focused on wellness.
Pierce Township Police Department (Clermont County): $12,537.44 to make counseling more accessible and to train officers specifically in stress management and psychological first aid.
Pleasant Valley Joint Fire District (Union County): $45,050 for a wellness and fitness initiative focused on medical screening, fitness, rehabilitation and behavioral health.
Scioto County Sheriff’s Office: $272,537.24 for hiring a dedicated wellness coordinator and clinician.
Sheffield Village Police Department (Lorain County): $19,500 for access to an online wellness app and online wellness courses.
Sidney Police Department (Shelby County): $22,000 for a wellness plan for police officers and firefighters.
Springboro Division of Police (Warren County): $11,664 for wellness checks for police department personnel.
St. Clairsville Police Department (Belmont County): $5,200 for access to an online wellness app that provides confidential wellness support.
Vandalia Division of Police (Montgomery County): $13,000 for access to a health and wellness app that offers confidential support and an online library of wellness courses.
Youngstown Police Department (Mahoning County): $36,000 for access to an online wellness app that provides confidential wellness support.
The Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Program, administered by the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, provides approximately $75 million in total funding for initiatives that support wellness programs that address mental, physical, and emotional health issues deal that apply only to first responders; recruitment and retention efforts to restore workforces; familiarization and training costs; and Explorer programs to engage young adults in first responder careers. Although this is the first round of funding awarded to local first responders under this program, approximately $1.3 million was awarded to several nationwide service providers in June.
The program is funded as part of the $250 million American Rescue Plan Act funding that DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly dedicated last year to first responders to address various urgent issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic have been exacerbated, including increased stress and reduced staffing levels.
DeWine has also placed an increased focus on first responder wellness with the creation of the Ohio Office of First Responder Wellness within the Ohio Department of Public Safety. The new statewide office will focus solely on the well-being of first responders, providing specialized support and training to help emergency organizations proactively address post-traumatic stress and other trauma caused by factors unique to first responders’ careers.
Other first responder support DeWine has developed since taking office in 2019 includes establishing the Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center, the Ohio School Safety Center, the Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment, the Ohio Prisoner Extradition Reimbursement Program, and the 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.