MABAS - Mutual Aid Box Alarm System

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We are all about to experience a new system involving preset plans for response to major incidences such as a major fire or accident. We do not have prior information about it because it has very recently been put into place by the County Fire Chief Association and has only been put into action recently.

You will begin hearing reference on the pages for fire and ambulance calls using the term MABAS. This stands for Mutual Aid Box Alarm System.

MABAS is preplanned tier system dispatch can use to page required resources based on “Box Cards” developed by each department by simply giving dispatch the card number to use. These cards are pre-scripted so that a commander at a fire scene doesn't have to pick ala carte under pressure what people and equipment they need. The resources are planned out well in advance when all is calm.

Last night was our first call to standby at a fire by being called on the MABAS system. Our job is to be available for firefighter rehab and treatment in case of injury.

When completed and approved you will be receiving an SOG to explain what we are requested to do. In the meantime, grab several cases of water from the garage to take along and respond to the scene.

When you are paged to the scene you will be directed by the County Dispatcher to report to a “staging area”. This Staging Area is again pre-scripted in the Box Card the dispatcher is working from. Communication between you and Sheriff’s Dept. dispatcher should be as usual; no different than when you are responding to any other EMS incident.

When you arrive on scene check in with the Sheriff’s Dept., as you normally would, notifying them you have arrived on scene.
Following that communication, then contact the “Staging Officer” on the FIREGROUND Channel OR (on the channel that Dispatch directs you to) that you are on scene also.
The Staging Officer will then direct you to an assignment from there. Unless directed otherwise, stay with the ambulance.
If you stay in the truck monitor the fire command channel for instructions. If you get out of the truck one of you should have a radio tuned to the fire command channel.
Fire Chief Wegner or one of his officers will be at our March training session to fill in more details of this system.