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.
In Champaign County, three agencies received funding: Urbana Fire Division ($1,920), Adams Township Rosewood Fire Department ($3,000) and Johnson St. Paris Fire District ($2,520).
“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.”
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 it 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 people or fewer and up to $50,000 per department is available through this grant.
This cycle, the State Fire Marshal received more than $7.7 million in requests for the $3.5 million in total available funding.