School district superintendents and treasurers should have been contacted recently by the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) regarding the School Security Grant Program. One portion of this grant aims to equip every eligible public school building with a radio that will link the school with the first responders in their area using whatever radio system is compatible to do so.
We sent the attached PDF document to school contacts through the Communicator system and wanted to make our users aware, in case schools reach out to their local public safety agencies with questions.
According to grant guidelines and H.B. 59, the radio they purchase must be compatible with the system used by their local first responder(s) in order to be approved for reimbursement. We wanted to help schools understand what system that is, and what radio is compatible so that their emergency alarms can reach the most appropriate dispatch center.
There is some confusion, because of how this has been marketed to schools, that they must use this radio on MARCS or pay the MARCS $20/month/radio system access fee. If the school uses BRICS, and not MARCS, they will not need to pay MARCS their monthly fee. While non-public-safety agencies pay $10/month/radio to use the Butler County radio system for daily, internal communication – we consider this radio, in this application, to be for emergency use only, and therefore will not charge any monthly fee. The Join BRICS page has more information on the system access fee.
If you have any questions, please contact us. The OSFC website has information on the grant process and eligibility.