Nineteen public safety agencies in Brown County can now communicate better with each other during an emergency.
The Brown County Emergency Management Agency recently received 100 used portable radios from the Hamilton County EMA. The radios are valued at about $300,000.
They were distributed to twelve county Fire/ EMS Departments, five Law Enforcement agencies, the County Dog Warden, and County EMA.
The radios are 800 MHz and tied into the state Multi-Agency Radio Communication System.
MARCS is a state wide public safety communication system in which Brown County law enforcement, public health, county engineer and hospitals in the region can now communicate, as needed, on a daily bases.
Brown County Emergency Management Agency Director Beth Nevel explained why this ability is important.
“During the flash flood, our law enforcement was on the MARCS system and our Fire/EMS was on another system. Literally one hundred feet across the creek, they could not talk to each other because they were on different systems.”
She said that seconds can count in such a situation.
“It’s vital that all responders in an emergency hear the same information at the same time. If that doesn’t happen, it increases confusion, which can jeopardize public safety,” Nevel said.
“MARCS is already where our law enforcement, hospitals, health department, Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Highway Patrol and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources are already on the MARCS system.”
Nevel said she was grateful to Hamilton County for the donation to public safety.
“Being able to redeploy these radios shows the good working relationships between the counties of our area,” Nevel said.
Information provided by Nevel said that the radio donation is part of the Southern Ohio Southern Indiana Northern Kentucky (SOSINK) Urban Area Strategic Initiative (UASI), a Regional collaboration for Homeland Security.