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Governor DeWine Announces $70 Million for First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that nearly $70 million in grant funding is now available for the recruitment and wellness needs of Ohio's first responders. 

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency began accepting applications for the new Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Program today. 

“Ohio first responders stand ready to protect, defend, and provide life-saving services to the citizens of Ohio every day of the year, often putting themselves at risk both physically and mentally,” said Governor DeWine.  “With these funds, my goal is to help local agencies keep first responders on the job and attract more qualified Ohioans to seek careers in public safety professions."

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 them 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.  

Other initiatives recently launched by Governor DeWine to counter pandemic-induced increases in violent crime include the new Ohio Ballistics Testing Initiative, Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program, and the Ohio Crime Lab Efficiency Program

Since taking office in 2019, Governor DeWine has launched several initiatives to help law enforcement in their work to protect the public and solve crimes. New statewide offices include the Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center, Ohio School Safety Center, Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment, and the Ohio Office of First Responder Wellness. Governor DeWine, in partnership with the Ohio General Assembly, also secured funding to help local law enforcement agencies extradite wanted offenders, enter warrants into state and federal databases, pay for critical training, and more.

Additional Grant Information

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. 

A voluntary bidders conference training webinar for the grant will take place from 11 a.m. to noon on May 13. The training will provide information helpful for both the application preparation and review process. Interested parties can register for the webinar at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8308524909329326860.