BWC awards $426k in grants to protect Ohio firefighters

COLUMBUS – Fort Loramie and New Knoxville are two of 40 Ohio fire departments that will share $426,000 in grants from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) under a program to protect firefighters from carcinogens and other harmful health hazards encountered by firefighters during their daily work activities.

The fire departments (listed below) are receiving the funding under BWC’s Firefighter Exposure to Environmental Elements Grant Program, which helps departments purchase safety gear, exhaust systems and specialized washing machines.

Because residue collected on firefighters’ gear during a blaze can cause respiratory disease, cancer and other ailments, it is important not only to wear appropriate protective gear, but also to ensure its cleaned properly.

“Firefighters face life-threatening exposure to harmful materials even after dousing a blaze, and those are the threats we’re targeting with this grant program,” said Dr. Abe Al-Tarawneh, superintendent of BWC’s division of safety and hygiene.

“The program is helping to bring this important protective equipment to fire departments across the state.”

Fort Loramie Community Fire Company will receive $14,140 to purchase one extractor and 50 hoods, and the Village of New Knoxville will receive $13,662.73 to purchase one extractor, 25 gloves and 25 hoods.