Dayton Fire Department awarded over $5 million in grant money for recruitment, wellness

The City of Dayton is getting more than $5 million in grant money to help hire 30 more firefighters for two years.

The grant comes at an appropriate time as the Dayton Fire Department has received more 911 calls than they expected this year.

So far they have had 41,000 calls for help.

The grant is through the Ohio First Responder, Recruitment, Retention and Resilience Program that Gov. Mike Dewine launched.

Other cities in the area received grant money as well but Dayton received the largest amount.

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The new hires will have a full-time wellness coordinator, training, wellness checks and physical readiness assessments.

Director and Chief Jeff Lykins said the grant most importantly puts more focus on firefighters’ mental health.

“This grant allows us to put more focus on mental health, they won’t be afraid to ask for help,” Lykins said.

The grant money is also being awarded as the Ohio State Fire Marshal said this past weekend was the deadliest Christmas weekend for fire in the state.