MIAMI COUNTY — After more than a year of preparing the county’s communication system to join the statewide system, the Miami County Commissioners approved an agreement with the State of Ohio for participation in the the Multi-Agency Radio Communication System (MARCS.)
The Communication Center has been working toward participation in MARCS for more than a year, making several purchases of equipment and other items necessary to join the statewide simulcast radio system.
Participation in MARCS will allow the county’s first responders to communicate with other participating agencies in the state.
“Almost all of the surrounding counties are or will be, in the next year or two, on the MARCS system. It’s important for the safety of the citizens to be able to communicate if there’s a major disaster and we’re bringing people in from other agencies,” Communication Center Director Jeff Busch said.
Last December, the commissioners approved the purchase of more than $1 million in radios and other equipment for county agencies from Motorola — 230 portable radios for law enforcement, 256 fire and EMS portable units, and 233 mobile radios for vehicles.
Over the summer, the board approved the purchase of an over-the-air recording system to record radio traffic on the six frequencies that comprise MARCS.
Through this agreement with the state, the county will turn over ownership of the equipment purchased from Motorola and installed at the county’s five tower sites. In exchange, MARCS will assume all responsibility for the equipment, including repairs, management, control, operation, and any required upgrades.
Because of this exchange, MARCS will apply a credit toward the county’s subscription fees up to 50 percent of the amount the county spent to purchase and install the equipment. The credit amount is not to exceed $1.9 million. After that amount is exhausted, the county will pay subscriber fees to MARCS for radios that are active in the system, which is $10 per radio, Busch said.
Reach Cecilia Fox at email@example.com.