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Multi-Agency Radio Communication System

MARCS Network Operations Center is staffed 24 x 7 x 365 days a year and can be reached at 866-646-2727.

Please be ready to provide your agency name, your City and County and the radio ID or serial number.


MARCS Mission

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.

MARCS Voice over Internet Protocol Push to Talk (VP2T)

The VP2T technology allows users to use telecommunication devices other than radios to access the MARCS IP system. These services are intended to supplement land mobile radio (LMR) voice services and will not be utilized as mission critical communications for public safety. While services are intended to be available 24 hours a day by 7 days a week, support is only offered during normal business hours. Carrier charges not included.


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.

Meeting Dates and Information

Date:   Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Time:  2:00 PM

Location: 4200 Surface Road, Columbus, Ohio 43228

Room:  Willow/Walnut Conference Room

October 18, 2016

March 28, 2016

January 14, 2016

Follow below instructions according to subscriber type (i.e. new or existing)

MARCSIP Service Subscription Guidance

In order 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.admin@das.ohio.gov as a separate .pdf documents.

New Subscribers

Step 1:  Review MARCSIP Services and Rates

Step 2:  Review MARCS IP Terms and Conditions

Step 3:  Submit MARCS IP Agreement Forms

MARCSIP Service and MARCS Supplemental VoIP Push to Talk Agreements

*Note: If you’re running an Apple product you will need to print out the form and complete by hand.  

Download Adobe Reader

Step 4:  Submit MARCS IP Device Information Excel Form

Note: This Excel file has two separate worksheets that need to be completed.

For questions about becoming a MARCS IP Subscriber, email: DAS-MARCS.Admin@das.ohio.gov.

Existing Subscribers

Are you adding more devices to your existing account with MARCS IP?   Device Information Excel Form

Are you transferring activated devices to another subscriber, or have you received activated devices from another subscriber? - Equipment Transfer Receipt Form

Do you need to upgrade your 3.5 radios to 7.x radios, deactivate or replace activated devices? - Device Update Excel Form

Do you need to update your contact or billing information? - Subscriber Information Update

Miscellaneous Forms 

Shared Talk Group - MOU Template  Word Form 


MPP 15.1 Interoperability

MPP 15.1.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 16.1 Voice Process

MPP 16.1 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

MPP 17.0 Co-Location

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-19.1 (.doc) and without the express written consent of MARCS.

This policy applies to all potential co-locates on all MARCS-controlled property.

MPP 19.1 Requirements

MPP 19.1 - The purpose of this document is to formalize the requirements applying to agencies, both public and private, seeking use of MARCS tower sites, including the tower, shelter, and/or grounds owned, leased or otherwise legally controlled by MARCS.

MPP 22.0 Radio Talkgroup Patching Policy

MPP 22.0 Radio Talkgroup Patching Policy 

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

MPP 23.0 Data Customer Process - 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.

MPP 31.1 Minimum Requirements for P25 Compliance on MARCS

MPP31.1 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.

The below links contain dealers and shops provided to MARCS by the manufacturers:

MARCSIP Tower Map - Click Here

Tower on Wheels



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 dick.miller@das.ohio.gov, Field Operations Manager for MARCS.



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.

School Radio Funding Information

OSFC School Security Grant Application and Reimbursement Deadlines Announced


Application and reimbursement deadlines for Round 2 of the School Security Grant program are as follows:

  • Application deadline is Friday, Oct. 16, 2015;
  • Reimbursement documentation deadline is Friday, Oct. 14, 2016.

Each eligible school district/school may apply for the following grants:

  • Up to $2,000 for one emergency communication system or Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS) In-School Communications System unit per eligible school building; and
  • Up to $5,000 for costs incurred with a purchase of a security entrance system consisting of a secure door, security camera, an intercom and remote access equipment at one main entrance per school building.

If you have any questions regarding Round 2 of the School Security Grant program, please contact grants.info@ofcc.ohio.gov.

For specific program and funding information please access: 

Additional Program Information:

MARCS in School Radio Frequently Asked Questions

When will I get my radio?

  • Once you received notice from the Ohio Facility Construction Commission indicating you were awarded your grant, your radio will be ordered.
  • A local Motorola Shop will be contacting you soon to establish implementation plans between you and your local law enforcement. In order for your MARCS emergency communication radio to operate as designed, your law enforcement agency’s dispatch center must have a compatible radio to receive your emergency alert signal when needed. 
  • Several law enforcement agencies already have MARCS radios in their dispatch center.  However, some may not.   Your shop will assist you in determining the needs for your schools to get your MARCS In School Radio fully operational.
Are there any other expenses involved other than the user fees?
  • In most of cases the answer is no. However, some buildings may require a different antenna and associated cabling in order to get a radio signal. This is not provided for in the grant funding. In these cases your shop will provide you with the most economical and effective solution.
  • In some cases schools may choose to purchase from the shops what we refer to as “add- ons”. This may be items like an additional radio (portable or mobile) for the administrative office, panic buttons that can be attached to the main sending unit, or other accessories that are available.
Can I use the MARCS In School Radio for daily communications?
  • The MARCS emergency radios are a state of the art emergency communication system that will allow for schools to send an emergency alert signal to your local law enforcement should a life threatening emergency exist. The radio is designed to be like a “fire alarm” for police and should be dedicated for this purpose.
  • Though this emergency radio is not designed to support everyday operational needs in the school, there are many opportunities that your local Motorola Shop can discuss with you to assist with your operational needs.
Does this take the place of calling 911?
  • It is imperative that prior to installing your radios, a protocol is set up with your law enforcement to determine, how, when, and under what circumstances the emergency alert button is to be pressed.
  • The radio is not designed to take the place of calling 911. It is designed for when circumstances arise which, you are unable to call 911, cannot get through to 911, or you do not have time(due to a life threatening situation). The emergency alert allows for you to notify law enforcement without any delay in notification.
What if my Law Enforcement Agency isn’t currently using MARCS?
  • There are many solutions to utilizing the MARCS radio if your law enforcement agency is not a MARCS primary user and is utilizing some other system. Communication with your law enforcement, prior to implementation is vital. If this is the case with some of your schools please provide this information to the Motorola Shop when they contact you so that a solution specific to your district can be determined.
When will the MARCS In School Radio be fully operational?
  • The MARCS In School Initiative is an innovative solution toward increasing school safety.It is vital we have all the procedures in place with school personnel and law enforcement before we install the first radio in any of your buildings.

For questions regarding the MARCS In-School Ordering Process, please contact us at 614-995-0060.

MARCS Contact Information
The MARCS Program operates 24/7/365. Although our regular business hours are 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, the entire staff is on call. You can reach any staff member after hours by contacting the MARCS Network Operations Center at 1-866-OHMARCS (1-866-646-2727).
Billing Questions - das-MARCS.admin@das.ohio.gov
MARCS Helpdesk - MARCS Network Operations Center/HELPDESK: 1-866-OHMARCS (1-866-646-2727)
Rick Schmahl  
Program Director  
Tom Bretthauer
Data Systems Administrator
 Dick Miller  
 Field Operations Manager  
4200 Surface Road
Columbus, OH 43228


IP Upgrade FAQ

Proof that MARCS works?

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.

Who maintains MARCS equipment?

The subscriber is responsible for their own radio equipment maintenance after purchase.