2 fire departments get share of grants

Tribune Chronicle

Two Trumbull County fire departments have received a share of $3 million from the state for the MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communications Systems) grants, which includes 186 fire departments in 54 counties throughout Ohio.

The Bazetta Fire Department received $960 and Champion received $840, according to a news release from the state fire marshal’s office.

The MARCS radio system allows first responders to seamlessly communicate, not only with each other, but with other agencies responding to an incident.

“Many incidents require the assistance of multiple fire departments, police departments and even state agencies,” State Fire Marshal Jeff Hussey said.

“When all responders are able to communicate instantly and seamlessly, it can speed up the resolution of the incident, protect lives and help minimize the spread of damage.”

MARCS radios are sophisticated systems, and the cost can be significant.

The grant helps to offset the cost of the radio equipment and user fees, making the radios possible for local fire departments, regardless of their size or budget, the release states.

“This year we received over $12 million in requests, four times more than the $3 million we had available,” Hussey said.

“I really want to encourage fire departments that did not receive funding this year to apply again next year.”

Priority funding went to departments that applied as part of a regional or countywide effort, and departments that showed that they are prepared to immediately begin using the MARCS radios upon receipt, Hussey said.