Commissioners set
timeline for Great Trail
Fire to migrate to MARCS

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10-4 Good Buddy

By Thomas Clapper
CCM Reporter
Carroll County Commissioners approved a motion to cease use of the 400 radio system by Dec. 31 and entirely use the Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS) in Carroll County.
The action will affect one fire district in Carroll County, Great Trail Fire District (GTFD) in Malvern,which still uses the 400 radio system.
Commissioners previously purchased MARCS pagers and amplification bases for all fire departments in the county. at a cost of approximately $156,000. The Great Trail Fire District received the pagers and, to date, have not activated them.
“The MARCS radio system has all police and Fire Departments on the same system,” said Commissioner Robert Wirkner. “The Carroll County Sheriff’s Department dispatch uses this united system to reach anyone with MARCS.”
“There would be less chance of confusion than maintaining two systems. It would free up the system quite a bit and save money,” said Sheriff Calvin Graham.
Commissioners are funding maintenance of the 400 system because the Sheriff’s Office does not have the funds.
“It just makes no sense to keep spending funds on this for one department,” said Wirkner. “My guess would be Great Trail Fire District spent money to have the best 400 system they can get.”
Graham noted a patch-over is possible, but it would tie up and limit radio communications. There would also have to be a second tower constructed at the secondary PSAP which would cost money.
“All of the neighboring counties are on the MARCS system and the few departments that are not are working towards full integration,” said Graham. “The safety of firemen, police, and emergency services as well as residents is critical.”
Graham noted the deadline may need to be pushed back and he is OK with doing so if GTFD takes steps to apply for grants and switch over to the MARCS system.
“There is an availability issue and a backlog attaining MARCS radios right now,” said Graham. “I would support moving the date as long as Great Trail applies for grants and takes steps to switch over.”
Commissioners noted the county engineer also uses the 400 system.
There is a $10 fee per radio per month for maintenance. Grants are available to cover the cost.
“To change to the MARCS system will basically cost nothing with grants,” said Wirker. “All of this translates into the safety of Carroll County personnel and residents.”
Commissioners approved a motion to establish the date of March 1, 2023, for the Great Trail Fire District to migrate their pager communications to MARCS system for countrywide uniformity, and to establish the date of Dec. 31, 2023, for the Great Trail Fire District to migrate the use of the 800 system for radio communications.
The Carroll County Messenger reached out to GTFD Chief Ralph Castellucci for comment but did not receive a reply.
In other business, commissioners:
RE-ELECTED Modranski board president. Wirkner was elected vice-president.
-DISCUSSED repairs to a broken jail cell door in the north block bay room that needs a new motor with Graham. During the December inspection, a company said the door could be repaired at a cost of $1,406.17. Graham said the motor needs to be replaced so the door will secure automatically for the safety of inmates and officers. Graham informed commissioners of a yearly maintenance program for the jail cell doors in the amount of $7,507. He noted to his knowledge there has never been yearly maintenance on the cell doors. Commissioners approved the cost for the yearly maintenance service one time to Willo Products Company. The service provider is aware this will be a one time contract.
-HEARD from Jackie Stewart, director of external affairs for Encino Energy. She introduced Zach Kent, new employee who will be in charge of community relations. Kent will work with Doug Shafer on road use maintenance agreements, Lucas Shipper and drilling services and landowner relations. She stated Encino Energy has enjoyed being at their new location in Carrollton and Encino continues to build on their commitment to transparency and community outreach.
-HEARD Modranski advise Ohio is working on improving newly-released federal maps that show internet availability and speed in Ohio. From now through Jan. 13, 2023, residents can help provide feedback to the federal government for Ohio.
To participate, visit to search for their address then verify the information as accurately as possible.
-LEARNED Washington County Commissioner James Booth would like commissioners to send a letter of support to raise support for a Chllicothe, OH, VA hospital. Commissioners discussed and decided to send a letter of support for all VA hospitals and not just one. Commissioners agreed to send a more inclusive letter.
did a presentation at the County Commissioners Association of Ohio Winter Conference

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