Four fire departments get advanced radio system grants

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2023

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Commerce Division of State Fire Marshal announced the recipients of the 2023 MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communications Systems) grant, which totals $3.5 million awarded to 325 fire departments in 76 counties throughout Ohio.
Among that recipients are four Lawrence County fire agencies: the Ironton Fire Department, which got $6,568.30; the South Point Volunteer Fire Department; which got $42,540; the Elizabeth Township Volunteer Fire Department, which got $30,526.15; and the Lawrence Township Volunteer Fire Department, which got $50,000.
The MARCS Grant is available annually to fire departments with service areas of 25,000 people or fewer and up to $50,000 per department is available through this grant.
Ohio State Fire Marshal Kevin S. Reardon said it is a highly-competitive selection process and the emphasis has been on growing the MARCS program with the goal that one day every department in Ohio is on this communication system.
“Having first responders with these state-of-the-art radios improves emergency services for these counties, which increases the level of safety for the communities they protect,” he said.
The MARCS radio system allows first responders to seamlessly communicate, not only with each other, but with other agencies responding to an incident.
MARCS radio system technology is advanced and the costs to acquire and operate can be significant.
Priority funding goes to departments applying as part of a regional or county-wide effort, as well as departments that show they are prepared to immediately begin using the MARCS radios upon receiving the award.
This cycle, the State Fire Marshal received more than $7.7 million in requests for the $3.5 million in funding.
The MARCS system provides statewide, secure, reliable public service wireless communication for first responders. There are currently over 120,000 voice units and over 1,800 mobile data units on the MARCS system with over 2,800 local, state and federal agencies statewide.

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