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. The MARCS Grant is available annually to fire departments with service areas of 25,000 residents or less and up to $50,000 per department is available through this grant. This funding cycle, the State Fire Marshal received more than $8.5 million in requests for the $3.5 million in total available funding.
“This is a highly-competitive selection process, so our emphasis has been on growing the MARCS program with the goal that one day every department in Ohio is on this communication system,” said State Fire Marshal Kevin S. Reardon. “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.”
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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.
The complete list of the 212 fire departments in 57 Ohio counties receiving MARCS Grants funding is available on the State Fire Marshal website.