EMS Giving out Bags to Cleveland Youth

City of Cleveland awarded $310,000 for wellness support from Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Program

9.13.22


Sept. 13, 2022 — Cleveland —  Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced yesterday the first round of funding to be awarded to local first responder agencies as part of the new Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Program, made possible with funds provided through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021.  

Cleveland’s Department of Public Safety will receive $310,000 to hire two therapists, provide access to an online app for confidential wellness support, and train mindfulness instructors. 

“Chronic job-related stress and exposure to trauma takes a toll on first responders and we must ensure that the people protecting and serving us have the support they deserve,” said Mayor Justin M. Bibb. “This funding is crucial to boost our capacity to care for our public safety personnel - we must look after those who look after us.”  

A total of 26 agencies will receive $1.67 million to help them support the wellness needs of law enforcement officers, dispatchers, firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs).  

“This is significant support in the service of all the uniform divisions and emergency communications personnel,” said Cleveland’s Chief Director of Public Safety Karrie D. Howard. “We are grateful for these American Rescue Plan dollars, which will increase our ability to care for our emergency responders.” 

The Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Program, administered by the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, is offering a total of approximately $75 million in 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.  

Although this is the first round of funding to be awarded to local first responder agencies as part of this program, approximately $1.3 million was awarded to several statewide service providers in June.