The Fredericktown Community Fire District recently was awarded $28,722.04 in grant funds from the State Fire Marshal’s Office for the purchase of MARCS radio equipment and service fees. In total through the grant the FCFD will receive two additional mobile radios, nine portable radios, spare batteries, a bank radio charger, and all required costs of equipment for installation. The grant requires no local financial match from the fire district.
“The department is very appreciative to have been awarded this grant. The items that this grant funds will greatly enhance our communication capabilities in some of our specialized vehicles that we were previously unable to outfit, and to further personal communication capabilities,” said FCFD Chief Scott Mast.
This grant will allow the FCFD to install a mobile radio into its rescue boat and firefighting ATV to improve incident communications. Portable radios will be assigned to apparatus to ensure incident command and line firefighters have sufficient communication as needed. The fire district was provided with MARCS radio equipment through a grant last year, however this will further round out the needs of the department.
“We strive to seek out and work for grants that benefit our firefighters, which in turn ultimately benefits the citizens we serve,” said FCFD Public Information Officer Jason Bostic. “We have seen great success in grants that allow us to provide some of the finest equipment possible at low to no cost.”
In 2016, fire, EMS, and law enforcement agencies in Knox County transitioned to the MARCS radio system that uses a network of digital radio towers and networked infrastructure throughout the State of Ohio. The system allows a greater interoperability between agencies and over a much longer distance.
State Fire Marshal Larry L. Flowers announced on Thursday morning that the FCFD was one of 165 departments awarded from 25 counties in throughout the state. In total, this grant provided $3 million in equipment to promote better communication between agencies around Ohio.
“The operational costs associated to communications are continuing to increase with the advancements in technology. Securing a grant such as this helps ease the financial burden in conjunction with improving the overall safety of our firefighters,” said Chief Mast.
The Fredericktown Community Fire District operates from two stations within the 115 square mile district in northwest Knox County. Fire and rescue services are provided by a team of 25 firefighters with varying levels of experience from the basic 36-hour to the 240-hour professional firefighter certification.