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Local Fire Departments Receiving Grants For New Radios

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSPD) -- The Ohio State Fire Marshal's office has $3 million in grant money to help small and volunteer fire departments get on to Ohio's statewide radio system.

"It's earmarked for MARCS radios and the user fees for MARCS radios," said Fire Marshal Larry Flowers.

MARCS stands for Multi-Agency Radio Communications System. It's operated by the state and allows users to talk across the state on a network of repeaters. It also makes it easier for different departments to cross-talk at a scene. Each radio costs $20 a month in subscription fees to be on the system. That includes every portable unit as well. Those fees can add up.

"There's a lot of communities that have the MARCS radios but they don't have the means to pay the user fees, so they can use the grant for user fees," he said.

Flowers says the $3 million allocated in Gov. John Kasich's mid-budget review won't meet all the needs, but it will at least help them find out how large the demand for the radios is. Departments will need to apply for the grants through the State Fire Marshal's office.

 

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