COLUMBUS — State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) announced the release of $33,903.96 in grant funding from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry to several local fire departments that serve the 96th Ohio House District.

"I am glad to see the state invest in our area’s fire departments," said Cera. "These men and women are on the front lines during crises and fire emergencies, protecting lives and property. It is important to keep them safe and well-equipped."

Local fire departments to receive a grant from ODNR include:

— Monroe County: $3,500 to the Clarington Fire Department for a new multi-agency radio communication system.

— Belmont County: $5,469 to the Sunset Heights Volunteer Fire Department for dry fire hydrants, $8,646.80 to the Smith Township Volunteer Fire Company received for a new multi-agency radio communication system, and $2,110 to the Sunset Heights Fire Department for wildland personal protective equipment.

— Jefferson County: $10,000 to the Bergholz Volunteer Fire Company received for a UTV / slip-in unit, and $4,178.16 to the Richmond Volunteer Fire and Rescue received for structure personal protective equipment.

The Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants are to help purchase all terrain and utility vehicles, wildfire pump units, personal protective equipment, multi-agency radios, and other items for supporting fire and emergency response. These grants may only fund up to 50 percent of the cost of a project, without exceeding $10,000, with a focus on rural fire department development.

These six departments were among the 52 total projects awarded $297,520 in grant funding across southern and eastern Ohio. The next grant cycle will begin in November 2019.