All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

MABAS: Mutual Aid Box Alarm System

The following is from the November Fire Chief’s Report:

The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) has been around for almost 40 years. It is recognized as a national “Best Practice”. It is a consistent method of providing and receiving mutual aid. Several years ago, Brookfield, Waukesha County, and a number of other Waukesha County municipalities designated MABAS as “the” mutual aid method to use in emergencies. Since then, MABAS has been officially designated as the state mutual aid plan.

MABAS provides a consistent structure for organizing mutual aid under a single mutual aid agreement (contract) and set of operational policies.

As a MABAS member we have the opportunity to receive mutual aid from a broad spectrum of potential partners. We can also exercise strong control over whom and how we decide to provide mutual aid in emergencies. The events of September 11, 2001 clearly demonstrated that the largest fire/EMS department in the country may need help beyond its borders. Last December Chicago relied on over 20 mutual aid fire companies from the suburban Chicago departments to handle emergencies in Chicago while over 2/3s of their resources were committed to a high rise fire.

We have a responsibility to protect our community by developing effective strategies to provide resources in an orderly and timely fashion. MABAS allows us to do this very well. As MABAS members we review each set of response requests (Box Cards) as they are created by our neighbors pre-event. We decide if we can potentially provide the resources requested.

Each community also reserves the right to not respond if they are unable to respond due to incident responses in their own community at the time of the request. This level of control assures that an individual community maintains its own resource capabilities. MABAS helps each community plan effectively for responses without compromising service levels among their neighbors.

MABAS also provides “change of quarters” crews to cover empty firehouses as planned in the Box Cards.

MABAS is a significant benefit to Brookfield. The MABAS agreement is standard throughout the system. The guiding policies and guidelines provide for a level of consistency previously unavailable in the fire service. The responses to and from mutual aid emergencies are better organized. This creates a safe and effective strategy for handling emergencies. It makes mutual aid easier for dispatch centers. It creates opportunities to practice radio communications, water movement, and mass casualty drills in a standard fashion leading to better emergency operations. All MABAS member communities will be better served through strong MABAS use.

Please contact me if you have any questions or comments regarding MABAS use in Brookfield. Thank you.

(Signed) John. G. Dahms


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