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 Multi-Agency Radio Communication System 20 year logo


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

  • Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) – providing GPS-based auto vehicle location, resource recommendation and GGM display

  • Mobile Data – CAD updates, Records Management, GPS-Based Vehicle Location, LEADS inquires

There are currently over 120,000 voice units and over 1,800 mobile data units on the MARCS system with over 2,800 public safety/public service agencies statewide. This includes local, state and federal agencies.


If your organization is not a state agency and wishes 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:   Tuesday, December  22, 2020

Time:   10:30  AM

Location:  Microsoft Teams.  For a link to the Teams meeting, please send an e-mail to Richard.schmahl@das.ohio.gov

December  22, 2020:


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

Coming July 1, 2020

MARCS  Service Subscription Guidance

New Subscribers

Step 1:  Review MARCS   Services and Rates

Step 2:  Review MARCS   Terms and Conditions

Step 3:  Submit  MARCS   Agreement Form

*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   Devices Form

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

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

Existing Subscribers

Are you adding more devices to your existing account with MARCS?    Devices 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 update your contact or billing information? - Subscriber Information Update

Miscellaneous Forms 

Shared Talk Group - MOU Template  Word Form 

As part of ongoing efforts to ensure the Ohio Multi-Agency Radio Communication System (MARCS) meets the latest technology needs of subscribers and the citizens they serve, the MARCS Steering Committee recently approved updates to policy MPP 31.1; Minimum Requirements for P25 Compliance on the MARCS Statewide Public Safety Communication System.  Two FAQs have been created to address questions pertaining to the Radio Authentication and End-of-Life sections of MPP 31.1

MPP 14 Key Process

MPP 14 -  The purpose of this document is to define the rules and regulations concerning the security, distribution and utilization of system keys for the MARCS Statewide Public Safety Communication Network.  






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 10/12/2016)

MPP 17.0 Co-Location

MPP 17.0 Co-Location

Addendum Co-location form 20A  - 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-17  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 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:

MARCS Tower Map

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.


Loaner Radios and Accessories

MARCS has 360 Public Safety portable radios and accessories that are available for loan. Qualifying types of loans include public safety agencies, universities, not-for-profit agencies, demo/test for potential new customers, loans to vendors, and events where public safety communications are required. Requests for use of cache radios and other MARCS equipment must be made to the MARCS Helpdesk at 866-646-2727 and entered in the request calendar. MARCS staff will facilitate the request on behalf of the customer.

The inventory manager or designees who distributes devices shall complete an Equipment Receipt form. In addition to Serial Number, Radio ID, Device type, Model Type, and any accessories, information required to initiate the loan are: dates of delivery/pick up and return, equipment required, how many, entity name, customer contact name and detail, and name of MARCS person responsible for delivery and pick up.

This equipment is State of Ohio owned and must be safeguarded at all times. If lost or stolen it must be reported immediately to MARCS Helpdesk at 866-646-2727. The borrower is responsible for replacement of all equipment and accessories.


MARCS Tri-Fold Brochure


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.

Radio Dealers and Shops

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


Image of MARCS Helpdesk and Network Operations Center

MARCS Helpdesk and Network Operations Center (NOC) MARCS has a Helpdesk and Network Operations Center staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. These Tier 1 Support Agents facilitate customer calls or inquiries as well as monitor all 300 plus tower sites on the network, their data connectivity, radio equipment, and site environment such as Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning, Commercial Power, Uninterruptable Power Supplies, and Backup Generators.  

Agents also can facilitate Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Mobile password resets for Premier One users and perform device unlocks.

The MARCS Helpdesk can also schedule and arrange use of three Tower On Wheels (TOWS) and a cache of over 360 Public Safety portable radios and accessories. For more information please visit our Information and Resources page.

We can be contacted via phone at 866-646-2727, Option 2, or on any MARCS radio via the XHELPDESK talkgroup located in the statewide portion of all subscriber radio templates throughout the State of Ohio, or by emailing das.marcsnoc@das.ohio.gov.


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), e-mail das.marcsnoc@das.ohio.gov, or on the Helpdesk talkgroup XHELPDESK.
Rick Schmahl  
Program Director  
Tom Bretthauer  
Data Systems Manager  
Jennifer Allwine  
Business Operations Manager  
Dick Miller  
Field Operations Manager  
4200 Surface Road
Columbus, OH 43228


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 subscriber equipment?

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

Key Request Process

Key Request Process

  1. Contact MARCS Admin at DAS-MARCS.Admin@das.ohio.gov. to be vetted for a key.  In the e-mail, state the make and models of the radios, number of keys and type of keys (full or clone) that are being requested.  All requests will be analyzed by MARCS management.
  2. MARCS Admin will notify the requester as to the decision of MARCS management.  
  3. The requester must contact the County’s Point of Contact for MARCS System Keys for authorization to add their keys to the existing key agreement between MARCS and the County.  The key agreement signatory must e-mail DAS-MARCS.Admin@das.ohio.gov. with their approval before keys will be programmed
  4. If approved by the County’s key agreement holder, the requester will order the keys for the type of radio through their preferred radio vendor.
  5. Once the requester receives the keys from the manufacturer, the requester will send the keys for programming and a return address to:

Attn:  System Key Programming
4200 Surface Road
Columbus, OH  43228

  1. Once programmed, keys will be returned to the County key agreement holder’s physical address with the requesting agency’s information in an ATTN: line in the address.  MARCS Admin will also e-mail both the requester and the key agreement holder tracking information on the key package.  MARCS will not send keys to a PO Box or personal mailbox.
  2. MARCS will send the County Key Agreement Holder a new Addendum A to the key agreement listing all the MARCS keys in the county with the new keys added. The agreement holder will verify the inventory, sign and date, scan and e-mail Addendum A back to DAS-MARCS.Admin@das.ohio.gov.
  3. For the complete text of MPP 14, click here.