DARKE COUNTY — Thirteen Darke County fire departments are the beneficiaries of grants from the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office to improve agency-to-agency communications.
State Fire Marshal Jeff A. Hussey announced the fiscal year 2019 awardees for the MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communications Systems) grant, which includes 242 fire departments in 40 counties throughout Ohio.
The MARCS radio system allows first responders to seamlessly communicate, not only with each other but with other agencies responding to an incident. For example, communicating with fire departments from neighboring areas, law enforcement and so forth.
“Operating on a modern, inter-operable public safety radio system will certainly improve emergency services in those counties and provide an enhanced level of safety for our responders,” Hussey said.
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. This year, the State Fire Marshal’s office received more than $12 million in requests for the $3 million in available funding.
“This high level of competition requires us to make some very difficult decisions regarding who will receive awards,” Hussey said. “It is my hope SFM grant funds will continue to be available in the future, and I really want to encourage fire departments that did not receive funding this year to reapply next year.”
Priority funding went to departments that applied as part of a regional or county-wide effort and departments that showed they are prepared to immediately begin using the MARCS radios upon award receipt.
The Darke County fire departments to be awarded, and their award amounts, include:
- Ansonia Fire Department — $1,440
- Arcanum Fire Department — $1,320
- Greenville Fire Department — $1,920
- Hollansburg Fire Department — $2,160
- Pitsburg Fire Department — $2,880
- Rossburg Fire Department — $1,680
- Union City Fire Department — $2,880
- Versailles Fire Department — $1,680
- Liberty Twp. Vol. Fire Department — $2,040
- Gettysburg Rural Fire Department — $1,440
- North Star Comm Fire Department — $2,040
- Osgood Comm Vol. Fire Department — $1,920
- Greenville Twp. Fire Department — $1,920
This is the fifth year the State Fire Marshal’s office has offered this grant. Letters detailing each department’s award or denial will be sent to applicants in the coming weeks. For a full listing of the departments receiving grants, visit https://bit.ly/2Hq0A98