ACHUA COUNTY, FL - Alachua County Fire Rescue's (ACFR) Mutual Aid Radio Communications (MARC) team deployed yesterday, August 30, 2023, in support of the Florida Fire Service's response to Hurricane Idalia as part of the State Emergency Response Team.

 The ACFR MARC team is a highly specialized communications unit that consists of a 100ft portable tower, generator, land mobile radio repeaters, portable and mobile radio cache, communications linking equipment, High-Frequency radio system, satellite phone and data systems, and a crew of four trained operators. The ACFR MARC is one of eight teams strategically deployed around the state that collectively comprise the Florida MARC System.  
Seven teams from the Florida MARC System are deployed into the Big Bend area of the state, providing communications support for the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams, engine strike teams, ambulance strike teams, and other deployed assets. Communications networks created by these units allow units in the field to communicate with incident commanders both in the theater of operations and at the Incident Command Post at the pre-staging location in Orlando and the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.  
Due to the impacts of the hurricane, native radio systems, cell phones, internet, and power are inoperative in most of the affected areas. The MARC System can provide this service in a mobile, on-the-go platform, responding to the hardest hit areas.

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