Multi-Agency Radio Communication System
MARCS is dedicated to providing Ohio's first responders and public safety providers with state-of-the-art wireless digital communications, and to promote interoperability, in order to save lives and maximize effectiveness in both normal operations and emergency situations.
MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communication System) is an 700/800 MHz radio and data network that utilizes state-of-the-art trunked technology to provide statewide interoperability in digital clarity to its subscribers throughout Ohio and a 10 mile radius outside of Ohio. The MARCS system provides statewide, secure, reliable public service wireless communication for public safety and first responders.
The MARCS development contract required 97.5% mobile voice and data in street coverage. 99.71% aggregate voice coverage was realized and 98.13% aggregate data coverage was achieved. This allows maximum statewide interoperability and enhanced safety and protection for public safety service providers through secure digital transmissions.
The MARCS network operates on three system components:
Mobile Voice – operating on the 700/800 MHZ digital trunked technology
Mobile Data – allowing data transmissions, LEADS inquiries, reformatting of data from Mobile Data Terminals (MDT)
Computer Aided Dispatch - providing GPS-based auto vehicle location, resource recommendation and GGM display
There are currently over 47,500 voice units and over 1,800 mobile data units on the MARCS system with over 1200 public safety/public service agencies statewide. This includes local, state and federal agencies.
To become a MARCS subscriber, a fully executed MARCS Service Subscription Agreement between the subscriber and MARCS must be on file. The MARCS staff will work with the subscriber to get their equipment programmed, activated and deployed in order to reach go-live.
MARCS Subscriber forms and information are now available on this website. Please click on the "Subscriber Process" tab on this website for ONLINE subscriber forms.
NOTE: You must open the website in Internet Explorer as your browser in order to submit this form online. If you are unable to access Internet Explorer you can save your form as a .pdf and submit via email DAS.Marcfirstname.lastname@example.org
to submit the below listed forms with the link provided you must open the forms utilizing Internet Explorer as your browser. If you are using a different browser (i.e. Google Chrome, etc.) you can still complete the forms as directed and email them to DAS-MARCS.email@example.com as a separate .pdf documents).
Below is the FAQ developed for the schools in response to questions arising during the first round of MARCS in
We are excited to be able to offer this state of the art, emergency communication solution to Ohio schools. We will continue to update you should any changes occur. Your local shops should be able to assist you with all of your communication needs. Should you have any questions or concerns throughout the process please contact: Becky Vanest, Operations Manager at 614.995.0839 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MPP 15.0.pdf - The purpose of this policy is to provide the means for all public safety and first responders to communicate with each other throughout the state.
MPP 16.0 Voice Radio Service.pdf The purpose of this policy is to document the processes involved in becoming MARCS voice system customers. These processes will be adhered to by all new and existing MARCS customers. The policy defines customer responsibilities and responsibilities of the MARCS Program Office. (Revised 06/25/14)
MPP 17.0 Co-Location (.doc)
Addendum Co-location form 20A (.doc) - The purpose of this policy is to formalize the technical requirements applying to agencies, both public and private, seeking use of the Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS) tower sites.
This document relates to frequencies, equipment, cables, antennas and/or any other such related items placed in the shelter, on the tower, and/or on grounds owned, leased or otherwise legally controlled by MARCS.
No public or private entity shall collocate any equipment on MARCS property without meeting all requirements of this policy and policy MPP-19.0, (.doc) and without the express written consent of MARCS.
This policy applies to all potential co-locates on all MARCS-controlled property.
MPP 22.0 Radio Talkgroup Patching Policy (.doc) The Radio Talkgroup Patching Policy establishes the terms and conditions for patching 2 way voice radio equipment into the Multi-Agency Radio Communication System (MARCS) infrastructure.
Radio Patching is one of several terms used to define the connection of an Ohio MARCS radio to another radio or radios, resulting in the ability to establish Interoperable communications between radios and systems not compatible with each other directly. Some of the other terms used to define this process include “cross-connect”, “interconnect”, or “bridging”.
MPP 23.0 Data Customer Process (.pdf) - The purpose of this policy is to document the processes involved in becoming MARCS data system customers. These processes will be adhered to by all new and existing MARCS customers.
MPP31.pdf The purpose of the policy is to define the rules and regulations concerning the eligibility, security, distribution and utilization of APCO P-25 compliant radio devices on the MARCSIP Statewide Public Safety Communication Network.
MARCS has three (3) Tower on Wheels (TOWs) that can be requested for incidents within Ohio requiring interoperable communications. The TOWs are used to supplement coverage and/or to add capacity to an area where an emergency or event is occurring. The MARCS TOWs are deployed to your request by MARCS staff and are self-sufficient for 48 to 72 hours. Included in the deployment is at least two MARCS staff, a towing vehicle, 109 gallons of diesel fuel, and related equipment including the TOW itself. The TOW includes an 80 foot tower, grounding, 20KW three phase diesel generator, electrical cables for direct wiring, cache radios, extra radio batteries, and bank chargers. MARCS also has a towable generator that is normally dispatched as a backup for the generator on the TOW. Once the TOW arrives on your incident, usually within 30 minutes to one hour the TOW is operational and ready for use. The TOWs are deployed on a first come first served basis. The TOWs can be used for large events, exercises, or any emergency situation. You can request the TOWs by calling the MARCS Helpdesk 24/7 at 866-646-2727.
Demonstrations are also welcomed. Any questions or concerns can be directed to Dick Miller at email@example.com, Field Operations Manager for MARCS.
Our technical staff will work with you to develop a programming template for your radios and will supply you with two (2) agency specific talkgroups. In order for you to communicate with all other agencies on the MARCS system, you will also be given all the mutual aid/interoperability talkgroups (see MARCS Policy MPP15.0).
Mutual aid/interoperability talkgroups are inserted in all MARCS subscriber radios to ensure optimum statewide interoperability. The technical staff will also talk to you about other agency’s talkgroups you may want to have in your radios. This can be a local police department, fire department, hospital, health department, etc. There is no charge for the programming or consulting services of the technical staff. In addition, we will train your staff to use the equipment or supply you with training aids so you may incorporate your standard operating procedures so you can train your staff. There is no additional cost for training support either. We also have a helpdesk staff available 24/7/365. They can provide technical support to subscribers and also have a means of contacting any MARCS staff member any time of the day.
For more information contact Tom Bretthauer at Tom.Bretthauer@das.ohio.gov.
Grant Resources for MARCS Subscribers
Before applying for federal grants, agencies need to make sure they have a DUNS (Data Universal Number System) and register with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR).
A DUNS number is a unique number that identifies an organization. It has been adopted by the Federal government to help track how Federal grant money is distributed. Agencies with a grant administrator or chief financial officer on staff, may already have your organization’s DUNS number. Agencies can call Dunn and Bradstreet at 1-866-705-5711 to receive one free of charge and the number will be assigned immediately.
CCR is the central government repository for organizations working with the Federal government. Agencies can see if they’re already registered at the CCR website (www.ccr.gov). If your organization is not already registered, identify the primary contact who should register your organization. When an agency registers with CCR, it will be required to designate an E-Business Point of Contact (E-Business POC). The designee authorizes individuals to submit grant applications on behalf of the organization and creates a special password called a Marketing Partner ID Number (M-PIN) to verify individuals authorized to submit grant applications for the organization.
Here are some resources other MARCS subscribers have found useful in the search for grant monies. The resources are practically endless, but this is a start.
This site is also known as “Just Grants!” This site has resources for nonprofit, government, and community-based organizations throughout Ohio. The benefit of www.grantsoh.com is it links the user to several Federal departments and offers a number of tools for advanced and novice grant writers.
Grants.gov allows the user to apply and register to submit grant applications online. Agencies can find grants faster and receive e-mail notifications of new grant opportunities, download grant application packages and view and complete them offline. Grants.gov also offers access tips, tools and a training demonstration
The homepage of FirstGov has three tabs across the top of the page. By selecting the “Government-to-Government” tab, you will be directed to a page with specific initiatives. Grants for state and local governments will have links on this page.
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance gives access to all Federal programs available to State and local governments, private profit and nonprofit organizations, domestic public, quasi-public, specialized groups and individuals. Once you find the program you want, contact the office that administers the program and find out how to apply.
The home page for the US Department of Homeland Security has a link to “Homeland Security Grants”. There are also links on this home page that offer help in finding and applying for grants through FEMA, Transportation Security Administration Grant Program, etc.
This is a link to the US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs web page contains funding opportunities. Click on the “Funding Opportunities” tab and find a list of grant opportunities listed with their deadlines and additional links to their respective applications.
This link takes you directly to www.grants.gov.
This resource provides opportunities to support law enforcement activities in state and local jurisdictions, as well as other funding needs. Many of the program bureaus and offices award formula grants to state agencies, which, in turn, subgrant funds to units of state and local government. It is wise to monitor this site frequently as to not miss opportunities to obtain some of the funding obtained by state agencies (Department of Public Safety, Department of Health, etc.). We suggest watching to see if an Ohio government agency has applied for or has been granted monies from the US Department of Justice and then contacting the receiving agency to see if your agency is eligible for a portion of these funds.
The Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (a division of Ohio Department of Public Safety) is a great resource for local monies. The “Funding” tab takes the user directly to grant resources. There is also a grants calendar, current solicitations, regional contact information, and grant reports.
Franklin County Ohio has a website link to various grant opportunities sponsored by Homeland Security and Justice Programs. There is a Grants Calendar that can be VERY useful in planning and meeting grant deadlines.
This site contains information on financial assistance available from the US Fire Administration and other Federal agencies for fire departments and other first responders.
This is the Responder Knowledge Base. This is not specifically used as a grant resource, but does have excellent tools for finding grant monies.
Most of the resources listed on this website are from corporate foundations.
This is a division of the US Department of Homeland Security that awards grants to fire departments to enhance their ability to protect the public and fire service personnel from fire and related hazards. There are three types of grants available: Assistance to Firefighters Grant, Fire Prevention and Safety, and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response.
The minimum requirement for coverage was set at 97.5% for mobile coverage. While there is no guarantee of portable coverage, it has been found that the level of portable coverage usually surpasses that experienced with conventional analog systems.
Franklin, Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Montgomery counties also have 97.5% portable in street coverage through enhancements built into those counties. MARCS personnel will work with any agency to assess coverage needs and achieve specific requirements.
The subscriber is responsible for their own radio equipment maintenance after purchase.
The MARCS Program office is responsible for oversight, maintenance and repair of the MARCS network. This work is funded through the subscription fees.
The MARCS system is the soundest investment for your agency’s radio communication needs.
You get all these benefits at no additional cost to you.
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