MUTUAL AID BOX ALARM SYSTEM
After four years of planning and numerous meetings, MABAS Division 120 (Fond du Lac County) went live on August 2, 2010. The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (known as MABAS) Senate Bill SB642 was approved by the Wisconsin Legislature and signed by Governor Jim Doyle on April 5, 2006. MABAS is a mutual aid protocol that is used for deploying fire, rescue, and emergency medical services personnel during a multi-jurisdictional and/or multi-agency response.
Equipment, personnel, or services that are provided under the MABAS agreement are shared between municipalities at no cost. In the event there are expenses recovered from the responsible party, those funds are equitably distributed. In addition, emergency personnel who respond to the emergency remain employees of their initial department or agency. MABAS is broken into divisions rather than regions.
The MABAS divisions basically follow county lines. The only exception is the City of Milwaukee which has established its own MABAS division due to size and number of agencies potentially involved. Currently, thirty-two counties have formally established MABAS divisions and an additional fourteen counties are in the process of adopting the program.
Wisconsin Emergency Management has conducted many outreach meetings throughout the state to explain the mutual aid measure. It takes twelve to eighteen months for a MABAS division to become fully functional. Statewide, the most conservative estimate is that it will take five years to fully implement MABAS across Wisconsin. MABAS Wisconsin is in year three of this plan.
MABAS is a mutual aid organization that has been in existence since the late 1960’s. Heavily rooted throughout northern Illinois, MABAS now includes over 750 member fire departments organized within 75 divisions. MABAS first came to Wisconsin in 1987 with the joining of the Village of Pleasant Prairie in Kenosha County. MABAS divisions geographically span the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan, and the other states, i.e. Minnesota, Iowa, and Ohio, are considering joining. MABAS includes over 25,000+ firefighters and daily staffed emergency response units including more than 950 fire stations, 1100+ engine companies, 375+ ladder trucks, 800+ ambulances (mostly paramedic capable), 150+ heavy rescue squads, 135+ light rescue squads, and 275+ 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, a.k.a. Technical Rescue Teams (TRT).
In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, large incident, or when all Fond du Lac Fire Department resources are utilized within our community, the City of Fond du Lac now has a comprehensive mutual aid program to assist our community in its time of need.