Good upgrade for them, but I always love how these "local" stories are written.
They will have dead spots on those portables...ever been to Hocking Hills?
He didn't get a "system" - he got subscriber units and pays a monthly fee.
Now that they will throw away their VHF equipment (most of these agencies did this), they won't be able to talk to alot of agencies around them. While each having MARCS and being able to interop would be great, the truth is many small agencies and even some bigger non-state ones are not going to this soon. So it does help out those who need it, but it can cause a bigger problem in an emergency.
1. No simplex
2. Neighbors without it.
Any agency going to MARCS is upgrading, that's fine, but if you are not keeping at least a small VHF control base and VHF mobiles with a minimum of LEERN and InterCity channels in them....you are just moving a problem around and hoping for the best.