Thread: Mabas

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    Default Mabas

    Do any vol. or poc depts. use the MABAS (mutual aid box alarm system) for their dispatch? If so, how exactly does that work. I'm lost: What is a Box alarm? Still Alarm? I understand that 2nd, 3rd, and 4th alarms simply bring in additional resources but I'm still confused about Box and Still alarms. Also what are the "districts"?Please send your detailed explination to trailfreek@msn.com
    Last edited by skcfa1523; 08-12-2006 at 10:01 PM. Reason: further explination

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    http://www.n9jig.com/radio/mabas/mabashq.html

    This link is to MABAS HQ. In it are descriptions of most of what you are seeking.

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    yep...clear as mud...lol

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    From what I hear MABAS is freaking sweet.
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    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skcfa1523
    Do any vol. or poc depts. use the MABAS (mutual aid box alarm system) for their dispatch? If so, how exactly does that work. I'm lost: What is a Box alarm? Still Alarm? I understand that 2nd, 3rd, and 4th alarms simply bring in additional resources but I'm still confused about Box and Still alarms. Also what are the "districts"?Please send your detailed explination to trailfreek@msn.com
    Yes...my old volley dept used them..as did the rest on the county. It was pretty simple...preplan you area with the boxes given to you by the county...with specialty boxes.....and go about business as usual. What I think you are confussed about is just local lingo which is different around the country.
    IACOJ Member

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    A "Still" alarm is just another term for a first alarm. In my town it is 2 engines and a truck along with a squad if it is a working fire. A "Box" sends 2 additional engines and a truck along with EMS, and a few Chiefs. I copied this directly from the MABAS web page. It explains what MABAS is.

    Mutual Aid Box Alarm System

    MABAS is a mutual aid organization that has been in existence since the late 1960s. Heavily rooted throughout northern Illinois, MABAS includes over 550 member fire departments organized within 46 divisions. MABAS divisions geographically span an area from Lake Michigan to west of Rockford and south through Champaign-Urbana, Douglas County, St. Clair County, and St. Louis. Four Wisconsin divisions also share MABAS with their Illinois counterparts. Interest is also becoming evident from the Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri bordering communities.

    MABAS includes over 25,000+ firefighters and daily staffed emergency response units including more than 750 fire stations, 900+ engine companies, 275+ ladder trucks, 600+ ambulances (mostly paramedic capable), 150+ heavy rescue squads, 125+ light rescue squads, and 225+ water tankers. Fire/EMS reserve (back-up) units account for more than 600 additional emergency vehicles.

    MABAS also offers specialized operations teams for hazardous materials (HAZMAT), underwater rescue/recovery (DIVE) and above grade/below grade, trench and building collapse rescues aka Technical Rescue Teams (TRT). An additional element of resource are the certified fire investigators which can be "packaged" as teams for larger incidents requiring complicated and time-consuming efforts for any single agency.

    MABAS is a unique organization in that every MABAS participant agency has signed the same contract with their 550+ counterpart MABAS agencies. As a MABAS agency, you agree to: standards of operation, incident command, minimal equipment staffing, safety and on-scene terminology. MABAS agencies, regardless of their geopolitical origin, are able to work together seamlessly on any emergency scene. All MABAS agencies operate on a common radio frequency, Interagency Fire Emergency Radio Network (IFERN) and are activated for response through pre-designed "run" cards each participating agency designs and tailors to meet their local risk need. MABAS also provides mutual aid station coverage to a stricken community when their fire/EMS resources are committed to an incident for an extended period.

    MABAS extra alarms are commanded by the stricken community and dispatch control is handled through the stricken community's MABAS division dispatch center. Over 850 MABAS extra alarm incidents occur annually throughout the 46 divisions of MABAS. The expansion of mutual aid to a statewide system doesn't require all municipalities and fire districts to join MABAS as a member agency, however, MABAS is a recognized response agency by the State of Illinois as a primary response agency for disasters and other declared emergencies.

    On a daily basis, communities face emergencies, which overtax their local fire/EMS and special operations capabilities. Often the "local" crisis doesn't warrant the state's Declaration of Disaster and its accompanying statutory powers. Without a Declaration of Disaster or Declaration of an Emergency, statewide mutual aid cannot be activated, nor are the statutory powers in force for an assisting agency's reimbursement, liability and workmen's compensation coverage. When such cases exist, being a MABAS member agency affords invaluable benefits to a stricken community, regardless of where the community is located.

    As a MABAS member agency, every community has the same agreement as the 550 other communities-- all agreeing to send pre-determined resources, without reservation (but always "as available"), to assist a stricken community. Without a formal written mutual aid agreement (such as MABAS), a request for mutual aid assistance becomes a voluntary act, putting the Fire Chief and his employing community who might send the resource, at great risk should equipment be damaged, or if a firefighter is injured or killed in the line of duty.

    To become a MABAS Division/agency, all that is required is a resolution or ordinance being enacted by the governing body and signing the MABAS contract. Most MABAS agencies are comprised of a number of geographically co-located municipalities or districts. However, one community can also be its own MABAS division. The City of Chicago is MABAS Division IX (9). Some MABAS divisions have nearly 30 member departments or districts. All it takes is discussion, agreement and political commitment.

    The Executive Board of MABAS routinely provides assistance to interest agencies. MABAS will provide any and all information to inquiring agencies including prepared ordinances, resolutions, and the standard contract to communities who are seriously interested.

    There is no cost to join MABAS and dues are self-imposed by and at the control of each individual MABAS division. The MABAS Executive Board meets quarterly and functions as a coordinating agency.

    Fire Chiefs may inquire about MABAS by contacting:
    Chief Jay Reardon (Northbrook FD), President, MABAS
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Having such a system in place was one of the reasons (among several others) Illinois was able to send help South post-Katrina in a fairly short period of time.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    The department I work for uses it, and it's ok. It kind of spread north from Illinois into Wisconsin and it's gaining popularity fast. There are some downsides like anything introduced into this field, 1. Some departments use it and some don't, which creates problems in dispatch because extra steps have to be taken to get the appropriate units to the scene. 2. There are departments that use is regularly and train on it, and there are a couple of departments that don't do either which causes confusion and inappropriate units being sent to the scene and wrong boxes being called. 3. MABAS specifically designed to have a uniform mutual aid response and not to draw equipment and manpower from one department. If you don't follow it by the numbers it can cause some pretty messed up dispatches. So with that great on paper, great in action if used properly and A LOT of training.
    Last edited by savoy6; 08-21-2006 at 12:50 AM.

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    Wayne County Ohio is on its 3rd generation (I think) of its MABAS and it has been working pretty well. The problems have been in training dispatchers more than in utilizing it on the fire ground. If you want to get more details, you can call 1-330-698-FIRE and leave a message and someone with an expertise on our program will get back to you.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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    What is 3rd generation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by savoy6
    What is 3rd generation?

    I was wondering the same thing.

    Also, Savoy, I'm assuming your right up the road from me. Tolono here.....

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    Yea I am about 4 hours north of you, Union Grove.

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    Oh, not as close as I thought..... We have a town about 5 miles north of us named Savoy.

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