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Area Fire Departments Awarded State Grants

January 26, 2022
Jay Edwards News

COLUMBUS – Small fire departments in Southeast Ohio and across the state will receive $3.5 million in Multi-Agency Radio Communications Systems (MARCS) grants, State Representative Jay Edwards announced today.

Locally, more than a dozen local departments in Athens, Meigs, Vinton and Washington counties combined will receive grants totaling nearly $250,000.

The MARCS radio system allows first responders to seamlessly communicate with each other, as well as with other agencies. These grants will help small fire departments improve communication capabilities, Edwards said.

“I have tremendous respect for our local firefighters. They do a terrific job not only in protecting public safety but also supporting the community,” said Edwards (R-Nelsonville). “This funding will make a difference for our local departments.”

The MARCS system provides statewide, secure, reliable public service wireless communication for first responders. There are currently more than 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.

The new state budget included $3.5 million for small fire departments in service areas with 25,000 or fewer residents. Up to $50,000 per department was available. The grant program helps offset the costs that local fire departments incur for MARCS-related radio equipment and services and to promote the interoperability between fire responders.

The funding is part of a larger package lawmakers approved to support law enforcement and first responders, including $15 million for police training, $10 million for body cameras and $26 million to fight illegal drugs.

Grant recipients in the region are:

  • Glouster Fire Department (Athens County) - $18,680.50
  • Jacksonville Volunteer Fire Department (Athens County) - $47,512.68
  • Bashan Volunteer Fire Department (Meigs County) - $10,914.90
  • Chester Volunteer Fire Department (Meigs County) - $12,871.25
  • Columbia Twp Volunteer Fire Department (Meigs County) - $13,750.65
  • Middleport Fire Department (Meigs County) - $120
  • Olive Twp Volunteer Fire Department (Meigs County) - $9,870.40
  • Racine Volunteer Fire Department (Meigs County) - $28,579.65
  • Rutland Fire Department (Meigs County) - $21,667.80
  • McArthur Fire Department (Vinton County) - $21,863.52
  • Zaleski Fire Department (Vinton County) - $720
  • Belpre Volunteer Fire Department (Washington County) - $2,500
  • Beverly Volunteer Fire Department (Washington County) - $2,500
  • Grandview Twp Volunteer Fire Department (Washington County) - $2,500
  • L A Volunteer Jt Fire District (Washington County) - $49,854.70
  • Reno Volunteer Fire Department (Washington County) - $2,500