M.A.B.A.S. - Mutual Aid Box Alarm System
The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) provides emergency rapid response and sustained operations when a jurisdiction or region is stricken by an overwhelming event generated by manmade, technological, or environmental threats. In response, MABAS will mobilize and, deploy a sustained fire, emergency medical services (EMS), hazardous materials, technical rescue, water rescue, urban search & rescue, and incident management assistance team resources to prevent loss of life, human suffering and further damage to property.
MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System) in partnership with IEMA (Illinois Emergency Management Agency) have established a statewide, non-discriminatory mutual aid response system for fire, EMS and specialized incident operational teams. Sharing the effort are representatives from the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Department of Public Health – EMS Division and Illinois Fire Chiefs Association. The system defines a resource response plan to any location within the state when the Governor orders a Declaration of Disaster. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on January 16, 2001, and updated in 2006, a first in Illinois fire service history.
Historically, IEMA has had the capability through state resources and assets to support disaster stricken communities in many areas except Fire, EMS, Technical Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue, Water Rescue & Recovery, and Hazardous Materials Operations Teams. Illinois resources like State Police, Department of Transportation and numerous other state assets are able to mobilize under the direction of the Governor in response to a disaster. Since Illinois does not own a fire department, EMS ambulances or specialized operations teams, a substantial "system" resource within the control of the state was lacking. The plan provides a system of "one-stop shopping" for IEMA officials to activate and mobilize local municipal fire, EMS and special operations assets through MABAS.
MABAS is a statewide mutual aid system, which has been in existence since the late 1960s. Pre September 11th, MABAS was heavily rooted throughout northern Illinois. Since September 11th, MABAS has rapidly grown throughout the State of Illinois as well as Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan and parts of Iowa and Missouri. Day-to-day MABAS extra alarms are systematically designed to provide speed of response of emergency resources to the stricken community during an ongoing emergency. Declarations of Disaster provide a MABAS sustained system of response on top of daily mutual aid activations. Today MABAS includes approximately 1,175 of the state’s 1,246 fire departments organized within 69 divisions. MABAS divisions geographically span an area from Lake Michigan to Iowa's border and south almost into Kentucky. Wisconsin divisions also share MABAS with their Illinois counterparts. The cities of Chicago, St. Louis, and Milwaukee are also MABAS member agencies. MABAS has expanded into all 102 Illinois counties.
MABAS includes approximately 38,000 of Illinois’ 40,000 firefighters who staff emergency response units including more than 1,600 fire stations, 2,735 engine companies, 500 ladder trucks, 1,300 ambulances (many paramedic capable), 250 heavy rescue squads, and 1,000 water tenders. Fire/EMS reserve (back-up) units account for more than 1,000 additional emergency vehicles.
MABAS also offers specialized operations teams for hazardous materials (40 teams), underwater rescue/recovery (15 teams), technical rescue (39 teams) and a state sponsored urban search and rescue team. An additional element of resource are the certified fire investigators, Incident Management Team members and fleet support mechanics which can be "packaged" as mobile support teams providing assistance with larger scale incidents requiring complicated and time-consuming efforts beyond capabilities of most agencies.
MABAS is a unique organization in that every MABAS participant agency has signed the same contract with their 1,100 plus counterpart MABAS agencies. As a MABAS agency, you agree to: standards of operation, incident command, minimal equipment staffing, fireground 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 (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.
Winnebago County is MABAS Divison 8, each fire department in the county is assigned their own MABAS number,
South Beloit Fire Department's MABAS number is 20.
2033 - that would be an Engine from South Beloit
241 - that would be a Rescue-Squad from Blackhawk
1904 - that would be an Engine from Win-Bur-Sew
771 - that would be a Tender from Harlem-Roscoe
1451 - that would be a Ladder Truck from Rockton
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