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8 Ohio FDs receive grants to improve radio communications

Lawrence County fire departments were among over 300 FDs in the state to receive a total of $4M in funding



The Ironton Tribune

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio — Eight Lawrence County volunteer fire departments have been awarded grants by the state to upgrade their radio communications systems.

The Ohio Department of Commerce Division of State Fire Marshal announced that the fire departments were selected to receive the 2024 MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communications Systems) Grant to better protect Ohio’s communities.

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Those that received the grants are Aid Township Volunteer Fire Department, which got $45,473.32; Elizabeth Township Volunteer Fire Department, which got $27,189.22; Hamilton Township Volunteer Fire Department, which got $37,158.16; Perry Township Volunteer Fire Department, which got $22,583.54; Rome Volunteer Fire Department, which got $48,146.55; South Point Volunteer Fire Department, which got $45,817.17; Upper Township Volunteer Fire Department, which got $43,348.14 and Windsor Township Volunteer Fire Department, which got $46,532.32.

In all, 307 fire departments across the state got $4 million in grant funding, an increase of $500,000 over last year, which was a key recommendation included in Gov. Mike DeWine’s recent Volunteer Firefighter Task Force Report.

“Effective communication is key to protecting both the public as well as first responders in emergency situations. Because of this, it is critically important that Ohio’s firefighters have access to the best technology available,” State Fire Marshal Kevin S. Reardon said. “We’re extremely proud to support first responders across the state by helping to equip hundreds of departments with this substantial investment in MARCS radios technology.”

The MARCS radio system allows first responders to seamlessly communicate with each other as well as other agencies as they respond to an incident. MARCS radio system technology is advanced and the costs to acquire and operate this equipment can be significant.

“This grant initiative underscores Ohio’s steadfast commitment to supporting the evolving needs of fire departments, particularly our state’s smaller and volunteer-based agencies upon which our communities rely each and every day to keep them safe,” Reardon said.

The MARCS system provides statewide, secure, reliable public service wireless communication for first responders. There are currently more than 120,000 voice units and more than 1,800 mobile data units on the MARCS system, with more than 2,800 local, state and federal agencies statewide.

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