The Ohio Fire Marshal, Jeff A. Hussey, visited Fayette County Thursday evening and presented area fire departments with over $140,000 in Multi-Agency Radio Communications Systems (MARCS) grants.
A crowd gathered at the Wayne Township Fire Department Thursday to meet with Hussey for the check presentation.
In attendance were local fire chiefs, volunteers, Fayette County leaders, Ohio State Senator Bob Peterson and State Representative Gary Scherer. This year marks the fourth year the grant was available and, according to Chris Wysong, Wayne Township Fire Department chief, this is the first year the county was awarded any amount of money.
Each department in the county was allowed to apply for up to $50,000 from the grant.
Five local departments were awarded various amount of money, ranging from just over $2,000 to just under $50,000, totaling $140,102.27.
Bloomingburg Paint Marion (BPM) Joint Fire District was awarded $27,525.
The Washington C.H. Fire Department was awarded $45,859.95.
Concord-Green Township Fire Department was awarded $22,960.20.
Pic-A-Fay Joint Fire District was awarded $2,280.
Wayne Township Fire Department was awarded $41,477.12.
In addition to presenting the check, Hussey took a tour of the Wayne Township Fire Department and spoke to the crowd for a few minutes to recognize the leadership in Fayette County.
“It takes a lot of work,” said Hussey. “It takes some hard work and leadership and I want to recognize all the chiefs for getting everybody together on the same page working together — that’s the hard part, and then of course filling out the grant applications with all of their correct information.”
According to a press release from the Ohio Department of Commerce, this grant helps fire departments purchase MARCS radios and pay user fees for the system.
Specifically, MARCS is a radio system that is used across the state by emergency personnel that helps to improve communication efforts during emergencies, making communities safer.
The Fayette County awards are part of $3 million that was allocated toward this grant by Ohio Governor John R. Kasich for 2018.
Fayette County was one of eight out of the 54 counties awarded money that was aiming to have each fire department on the MARCS radio system. Thanks to this effort, the county received priority funding so they can immediately begin using the radio system. In all, nearly 200 fire departments across the state were awarded grant money.
The information in this article was provided by the Ohio Department of Commerce and Wayne Township Fire Department.