(WKBN) – Several local fire departments, many of which are volunteer agencies, are set to receive a combined $135,000 in grant money from the state to purchase communication tools.

First responder radios are costly but in emergency situations, a necessary safety tool.

Thanks to the state’s MARCS grant program, seven departments in Trumbull County will be able to purchase upgraded equipment.

“This grant is very beneficial to all of the departments that received it,” said Mecca Twp. Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Kevin Kuriatnyk.

Of the seven departments, Mecca’s Volunteer Fire Department received the largest award.

Leaders there plan to use the more than $41,000 they received to purchase 14 portable MARCS radios and three that’ll be installed in fire vehicles to replace the aging devices currently in use.

“That gives us the opportunity to be fully staffed, fully equipped with the amount of radios we should have for safety and communications,” said Kuriatnyk.

The Southington Volunteer Fire Department plans to use the $19,000 awarded to its agency to upgrade its equipment too.

The money will be used to buy six portable and two mobile radios for the department.

“A lot of our radios are older, donated radios from the state that are at the end of their life expectancy so this will allow us to replace those older radios,” said Southington Volunteer Fire Department Chief Scott Bower.

The Kinsman Fire Department plans to add 10 more portable radios and four additional mounted mobile radios to its equipment list.

“We received a little over $29,000 and it’ll be for mobile radios to outfit the rest of our fleet and portable radios so that we have adequate coverage on the fire ground,” said Kinsman Fire Department Chief Cory Vankanegan.

Other departments in Trumbull County that received money from the MARCS grant include Howland, Johnston, the Newton Falls Joint Fire District and Orangeville.