COLUMBUS – State Senator Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) announced that the State Fire Marshal has awarded grants to 17 fire departments in Senate District Five to upgrade life-saving digital communications equipment.
MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communication System) Grants are going to nine fire departments in Preble Country and five in Darke County. The MARCS system provides statewide, secure, reliable public service wireless communication for first responders.
“The selection process for MARCS Grants is so competitive, this is a significant development for our district, one that will greatly enhance public safety,” said Huffman. “The money will go toward state-of-the-art wireless digital communications that will help our first responders save lives.”
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.
Senate District Five fire departments awarded MARCS Grants in Darke County: Arcanum Fire Department, $1,440; Hollansburg Fire Department, $1,440; Pitsburg Fire Department, $32,239.05; Liberty Township Volunteer Fire Department, $2,280.00; and New Madison Fire Department, $7,030.
Fire departments awarded MARCS Grants in Miami County: Pleasant Hill-Newton Township Joint Fire District, $4,000.00; and Bradford Fire and Rescue, $28,594.05
The MARCS Grant is available annually to fire departments with service areas of 25,000 or less. Up to $50,000 per department is available through this grant. 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.