Janesville70.4°

Fire departments part of multi-state exercise

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Gazette Staff
August 26, 2010
— Several southeastern Wisconsin fire departments, including Janesville and Beloit, will participate in a large scale, multi-state exercise in Chicago this week to test the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System known as MABAS.

Today’s exercise will test responses to the scenario of a major tornado striking Chicago. Fire departments from Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan will provide support under MABAS. More than 350 fire units and 1,110 firefighters will participate in the exercise at three staging locations around Chicago.


An engine crew of four plus a shift commander and ladder truck from the Janesville Fire Department will participate, said Bill Ruchti, shift commander.


Most of Janesville’s expense for participating will be offset by a reimbursement from MABAS, Ruchti said.


Representatives from the Beloit’s Fire Department also will participate in the exercise.


Wisconsin will be sending fire task forces from Rock, Racine, Milwaukee and Kenosha counties beginning at 8:30 a.m. The goal is to have all units and personnel in the staging locations within 90 minutes of activation.


MABAS is a fire service multi-state mutual aid system that operates under a single mutual aid contract at no cost to member communities and agencies. MABAS is the single largest mutual aid system in the country with four core states—Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan—and four associate states—Missouri, Ohio, Iowa and Minnesota—as members.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the International Association of Fire Chiefs sponsor the exercise.



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