$1M in Retention Incentives Awarded to Local First Responders

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The state has awarded more than $1 million in retention incentives to nearly 400 first responders in 17 agencies in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties.

Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday announced that thousands of first responders across the state will receive incentives in recognition of their dedication to public safety and their ongoing commitment to public service.

“In Ohio, we value our first responders and know that the work they do is essential,” DeWine said. “Our goal through this program is to ensure that our firefighters, EMTs and law enforcement officers have the support and resources they need for their personal well-being and in their professional lives.”

More than 10,000 law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS personnel from 309 agencies will receive a total of approximately $35 million in retention incentives as part of the Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Program, which was created to address first responder burnout caused by understaffing and job stress. 

Here are the agencies in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties that will receive retention bonuses, along with the grant amount and number of first responders: 


  • Austintown Fire Department, $110,984, 43.
  • Cardinal Joint Fire District, $93,427, 34.
  • Goshen Township Police Department, $23,086, 6.
  • Smith Township Police Department, $14,173, 4.


  • Bazetta Township Fire Department, $43,366, 13.
  • Bristol Fire Department, $28,464, 28.
  • Champion Township Fire Department, $23,489, 6.
  • Cortland Police and Fire Departments, $91,400, 32.
  • Johnston Township Fire Department, $24,366, 21.
  • Lordstown Fire Department, $47,197, 35.
  • Newton Falls Joint Fire District, $49,556, 32.
  • Niles Fire Department, $112,000, 28.
  • Vienna Township Police Department, $22,813, 10.
  • Warren Police Department, $215,544, 54.


  • East Liverpool Fire Department, $52,000, 13.
  • Leetonia Police Department, $20,840, 8.
  • Lisbon Police Department, $36,554, 13.
  • St. Clair Township Police Department, $48,000, 12.

In total, approximately $100 million has been awarded to emergency response agencies through the Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Program since its launch in 2022. 

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency administers the program and provides funding to support initiatives 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. The funding awarded to date includes approximately $1.3 million for several statewide service providers.

The program is funded as part of the $250 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding that DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly dedicated to first responders to help address various issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.