Sixty-four Ohio fire departments will share $693,000 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 Elm Valley Joint Fire District in Ashley was among them.
The fire departments 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.
“BWC is pleased to be a part of growing efforts to protect firefighters from cancer,” said Dr. Abe Al-Tarawneh, superintendent of BWC’s division of safety and hygiene. “The more awareness that’s raised, and the more tools we get into the hands of fire departments, the better protected firefighters will be from these dangers associated with an already very risky job.”
The Elm Valley Joint Fire District received $3,953.01 to purchase 23 hoods and 23 gloves.