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  1. #1

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    Default Trying to get MABAS strted

    Just need a little help

    I am currently a firefighter for the city I live in and 911 dispatcher for the county I live in. The county I live in is trying to get MABAS started and some people are opposing the idea. Can someone fill me in on the pros and cons of having MABAS in our county, I don't believe anyone else in the area has this system.
    Please help!


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber SFDredhat126's Avatar
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    Start here: http://www.mabas.org/

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    I think SFD would agree. The process is slow and some departments are less willing to sign on and adopt MABAS guidelines and protocols. Has Collinsville adopted MABAS numbers? We use a 4 digit St. Louis County style system instead of MABAS and the opinions are split as to if we should change. It would be much better if the division and the county 911 board got together and MANDATED it.

    Anyway. In my county I would say the two biggest all paid depts. are the most resistant to change. They want to keep doing things "their way". Eventually....maybe as long as 20-30 years down the road when their staffing levels have decreased they will be calling for mutual aid more and more.

  4. #4

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    Well the problem is not the paid department in our county, its is all of the volunteer departments that is going to be a challenge to get on board. They have ideals that were instilled many many years ago when they first got on the departments 50 years ago. Is there any pros or cons to having mabas?

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    MembersZone Subscriber SFDredhat126's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GFPD2005 View Post
    I think SFD would agree. The process is slow and some departments are less willing to sign on and adopt MABAS guidelines and protocols. Has Collinsville adopted MABAS numbers?
    Collinsville just started using MABAS numbers at the beginning of this year. We will probably implement the box cards this summer.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber lilyogi's Avatar
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    Kel911 drop me an email and I will explain the pros and cons in my opinion of Mabas... I am for mabas if it is utilized correctly. Some departments seem to abuse it in my opinion.
    dkeith75@gmail.com
    Lilyogi

  7. #7
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    Finally, I got logged in, been trying for 3 days. Yog, you wouldn't be refering to a dept across the river? If you got any con's I like to see them, put them out in the open for debate. Mother MABAS likes to know if they doing anything wrong. The only cons I know are dues, and sometimes it rubs the union guys wrong.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber lilyogi's Avatar
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    Trainer,
    Which side of the river?? I live on one side and work in the middle?? ha ha ha

    I think I know what dept you are referring too. I will not name any particular depts as that is not right.

    I will say this much,
    If depts. that are members of MABAS have their box cards right mabas works great. I can not say enough good about mabas. If a dept doesn't have their cards set up right, it becomes a problem.
    ie. multiple depts dispatched for fire that could have been handled by dept and maybe an auto aid dept. instead of calling a box alarm.

    Please understand, I am for mabas 100%, some depts may need additional training or become more familiar with what mabas is about. I don't feel it is there to replace your normal auto aid agreements. I may be wrong but these are my thoughts.
    AI helped my volunteer dept that I was on before i moved with setting up their box cards. If it is done right it works great!!!

    Again, I tried not to point fingers to any particular dept.
    Lilyogi

  9. #9
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    Yes you are right, setup is very inportent. If you look at the new cards there is a place for stills/autoaide before the box. To many chiefs fill out cards and not think about what you need but who is close. I heard one the other day when someone requested just a chief. About the dept across the river, seems like they use MABAS to keep from hiring personal.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Firefighter2160's Avatar
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    In our area the biggest problem is the PAID depts hold training during daytime when most volleys cannot make it.....most of the people in charge of training are on paid depts. ...................I will leave it at that before I go on a tangent I might regret LOL

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    Working with the paid guys can be tough, and I can't blame um. They do this stuff all week. You have to be on good terms with them. I'm pres of a div with 17 vol dept and 2 med sized paid, we work great togther. I'm not sure what training you refer to, day to day or MABAS stuff. If it's TRT and hazmat stuff, good luck. We have a div up here, all vols, that is doing the training on weekends. Hazmat went good, but TRT requires a huge comitment, and to be honest it's just not working. IFSI min for a class is 25-30 but will go as low as 17. TRT currently is up to 480hrs and hazmat 200...somthing. Now if it's the regular MABAS stuff, then you need to figure out how to get them, or a least 1 or 2, to come to you. When it comes to MA, there need is as great as yours.
    Back to the orginal post,kel, is your city on or close to the river? Is there a div in Illinois you can become part of?

  12. #12
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    Default The needs of the many

    Quote Originally Posted by kel911 View Post
    Well the problem is not the paid department in our county, its is all of the volunteer departments that is going to be a challenge to get on board. They have ideals that were instilled many many years ago when they first got on the departments 50 years ago. Is there any pros or cons to having mabas?
    The pros to belonging to mabas are really to many to list, however I will hit on a few:
    -systematic approach to mutual aid that does not deplete a whole area
    -standardized policies and procedures etc
    -liability protection as long as you operate within the scope
    -The might of Thor's Hammer can be brought down to handle incidents under the statewide plan. Resources that your area may not even realize exisit.
    -Standarized dispatching-eliminating the build a box, ya'll comes etc that only lead to confusing and added burden ont he dispatchers.
    -Particiaption in a system that is widley recognized as only a handful in the nation, which a whole state is "singing from the same hymnal"

    Just a few reasons....

    Now making folks change is never easy, however if you look at a map of the state, you have to ask those who are resisting.... if this is so bad then why is 98% of the state on board?

  13. #13
    Forum Member Firefighter2160's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trainer View Post
    Working with the paid guys can be tough, and I can't blame um. They do this stuff all week. You have to be on good terms with them. I'm pres of a div with 17 vol dept and 2 med sized paid, we work great togther. I'm not sure what training you refer to, day to day or MABAS stuff. If it's TRT and hazmat stuff, good luck. We have a div up here, all vols, that is doing the training on weekends. Hazmat went good, but TRT requires a huge comitment, and to be honest it's just not working. IFSI min for a class is 25-30 but will go as low as 17. TRT currently is up to 480hrs and hazmat 200...somthing. Now if it's the regular MABAS stuff, then you need to figure out how to get them, or a least 1 or 2, to come to you. When it comes to MA, there need is as great as yours.
    Back to the orginal post,kel, is your city on or close to the river? Is there a div in Illinois you can become part of?

    pretty much all of it to do with MABAS, all is done during the week..the misconception is that Volley depts are not important, we have a roster of over 70 firefighters and have 7 stations, I belive we have close to the largest district coverage wise in the state. around 240 square miles, we see more fire than any department in our area, I bleive it was some where around 60 structure fires alone last year not counting all the other runs. YES MABAS is great, but tought for voleys to get involved. Paid depts do not want to train on the weekends like we do.

    not sure what you mean by don't blame em, just cause they are on a paid dept makes them no more or no better of a firefighter.

  14. #14
    Forum Member Firefighter2160's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kel911 View Post
    Well the problem is not the paid department in our county, its is all of the volunteer departments that is going to be a challenge to get on board. They have ideals that were instilled many many years ago when they first got on the departments 50 years ago. Is there any pros or cons to having mabas?
    not sure what ideals you mean?????

  15. #15
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    First off I'm a vol. Now I'll ask you, I your real job, do you want to do that stuff on your days off? Or do it at night when you have done it all day? Thats my point, thats where I can't blame um. Are you a city dept or several rural depts that have merged? What type of training are you talking about? Mother MABAS does not care if you are paid or vol, nor do they set up any training, thats all done on the local level. If you have paid guy's in your div, you need a good working relationship, if you don't, maybe you need to start your own div, and set up your own training. With 70 members I see no problem filling the mim numbers for classes.

  16. #16
    Forum Member Firefighter2160's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trainer View Post
    First off I'm a vol. Now I'll ask you, I your real job, do you want to do that stuff on your days off? Or do it at night when you have done it all day? Thats my point, thats where I can't blame um. Are you a city dept or several rural depts that have merged? What type of training are you talking about? Mother MABAS does not care if you are paid or vol, nor do they set up any training, thats all done on the local level. If you have paid guy's in your div, you need a good working relationship, if you don't, maybe you need to start your own div, and set up your own training. With 70 members I see no problem filling the mim numbers for classes.
    LOL well since you asked, my REAL Job I am a computer tech the company I work for I do work for 2 of the largest retailers and 2 of the largest insurance companies in the US. and yes I do it on my days off because I also own a computer repair business so I am the wrong guy to ask that question because yes I do it all night after doing it all day LOL.

    as far as dept. we are a Fire District that covers all unincorprated areas of williamson county, it has been that way since it was started with the exception of 1 small town we brought in a couple years ago and added a 7th station at that time.


    my point was to the person asking about starting MABAS was the issues of getting things together with training. not all areas have the issues with paid and vol. depts.

    we have a good working relationship with the paid depts. don't get me wrong there,but on training for instance there was a HAZMAT drill with our division done, it was held on a thursday morning. thus mainly only paid guys could make the training, if you have a LARGE incident then you want to call in guys that have not even trained with you?


    either way I make EVERY training that I can because as I see it MOST training these days focuses and me and my brothers going home to our family after a incident which to me is priceless so I am not concerned if I am getting paid to train which is what alot of it boils down too

  17. #17
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    I see your point. I'm selfemployed and learned a long time ago there is more importent things in life then work. Funny you should mention a drill, as I am setting up one in our div. It's to be Fri night and Sat. You can't believe the hoops you got to jump through for a full scale drill. It's also very hard to figure out how to use regular trained FF into a hazmat or TRT drill as the training required for that is specalized. If the training for that were held on weekends, it would take about 3 years to complete. Then your talking about 48hrs a year to keep it to date. Anyways sounds to me like you may want to set up your own drill.

  18. #18
    Forum Member Firefighter2160's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trainer View Post
    I see your point. I'm selfemployed and learned a long time ago there is more importent things in life then work. Funny you should mention a drill, as I am setting up one in our div. It's to be Fri night and Sat. You can't believe the hoops you got to jump through for a full scale drill. It's also very hard to figure out how to use regular trained FF into a hazmat or TRT drill as the training required for that is specalized. If the training for that were held on weekends, it would take about 3 years to complete. Then your talking about 48hrs a year to keep it to date. Anyways sounds to me like you may want to set up your own drill.
    I agree with you on that, I have hazmat ops and it is pretty much all I wanna do with hazmat, i think we have maybe 4 guys on our dept that are Tech's and mainly because of the reason you mentioned the amount of training required. the paid depts here do TRT and that is cool, there is no way like you said for volleys to come close to what it takes with the hours of training required, I guess my whole point in the deal was what is going to happen is they are going to have a big incident some day and THEN they will wish the had more trained people at that point it will be too late.


    even though I am OPS as you know when you do not train at some thing you get rusty and on scene is no time to find out how rusty you are

  19. #19
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    Default MABAS Value

    MABAS was started in 1968 in Elk Grove Village by captain Don Kuhn who took what he learned from Chicago's Box Alarm System Card and was allowed by his chief to adapt it to the subburbs. He had no desire to separate career, from part-time, combination or volunteer departments but thought that we should all work together to put out fires and handle large scale emergencies. It has been largely out of government control and left to emergency service departments to run the system. It is preplanned and allows communications to take place before the emergencies to determine who will respond and how everyone with work together once they get to the incident. It also addresses the fact that some departments will not be able to handle further incidents in their community and again offers a preplanned service to "Change of Quarters", "stagging"' or "standby in their own quarters" while listening to IFERN to handle other emergencies that can no longer be handled by the effected jurisdiction. It operates on the 80-20 rule where no more than 20% of the resources from any one area are to be depleted at one time.

    Is there really any better insurance policy available when it is your bad day in the barrel? It also acts as a purchasing agent to get lower prices for all its members and sharing grant fund bought equipment, i.e. radios, ITEC Trailers, Decom Trailers, Tent Cities, Hazardous Materials and Special Teams vehciles. Seeing all of this and understanding that their new dues structure is based on a department's operating budget, MABAS appears to get a great deal. I believe that even the top dues fee is $1,500 and most departments only spend $50 to $100 each year and receive thousands of dollars in grant equipment in return.

    The unreported side of MABAS membership appears to be the ability to unite the fire service, not only from county to county but state to state. I understand that Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana and Missouri have MABAS members. I am sure the there are others also looking at how to join this success story. Maybe some day police departments, health departments and public works departments will also have as extensive connections.

    Can't wait to hear how anyone thinks that they could do better. Do you really want 3 to 4 different systems in your plan or the one which has been proven to work?

    Bummer
    Last edited by bummer; 04-08-2008 at 09:47 PM.

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    No doubt the system works. I never heard the 80-20 thing, learn something new every day. If I remember right, Wisconsin and Indiana are working toward statewide and maybe Ohio. In the new dues system, if your operating budget is 50 grand or less, it only costs you $15. For the most part everyone else will stay the same, maybe cost you another $25. We have some that refuse or don't pay, any ideas on what to do with them? Currently I believe 90% of the dept's in Illinois are members. With the equipment MABAS has now, and with what will come in the next months, Illinois has to be the best prepaired state in the nation. Even though this started in Chicago, the equipment is distributed throughout the entire state. Currently there are 60 plus hazmat and TRT teams fully equiped, 27 decon trucks, 4 communations trailers(very pricy), comming soon 65 light tower trailers, 7 portable warehouse trailers, 7 tent city trailers,and 9 air trucks, I know there is more but can't remember. ILEAS also has a number of command trucks. That's a lot of sh....stuff.

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