TFRD receives $2.2 million state grant

The grant is part of the state’s Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention and Resilience program.
Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 6:09 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - More than $2 million is being pumped into Toledo’s Fire and Rescue Department.

The money is part of the state’s Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention and Resilience program and it has huge implications for our local firefighters.

Deputy Chief Daniel Brown-Martinez tells 13 Action News the department has been facing staffing and retention challenges for years and it’s only gotten worse since the pandemic. He says he’s hoping this money can help alleviate some of those issues.

“When people call 911, it’s a click of three buttons and somebody shows up,” Brown-Martinez said. “But, behind the scenes, it takes massive amounts of training, dedication, sleepless nights, sacrifices of being away, again, away from your family.”

Jill Hoffman, a Toledo firefighter, says the department and its firefighters are still recovering from the pandemic.

“There’s a lot of burnout that happens,” Hoffman said. “It has been increasingly hard to hire and keep personnel. People were retiring early. They were just leaving the career altogether.”

The hope is that an extra $2.2 million from the state can help with retention, and maybe even create a retention bonus for current firefighters, though how much of a bonus is still unclear.

“I really have high hopes for this,” Hoffman said. “Retention bonus, just to have an incentive to keep some of our very well-trained and experienced personnel.”

The money from the state will also go towards helping wellness.

“A big portion of that money is to hire a coordinator and to create the mental health wellness assessments annually, so all of our members will have that available to them and do what while they’re on duty,” Brown-Martinez said.

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