Our Fire Department like most others in the state are members of the MABAS system. It is a great example of shared services to the Nth power. The fire chiefs here in Michigan have adopted the MABAS system and modeled it after the MABAS Illinois.
Here are the goals from the MABAS-MI Implementation Guide
To enhance the State of Michigan Emergency Operations Plan (MIEOP) by establishing a standard, statewide mutual aid plan for fire, EMS, hazardous materials mitigation, technical rescue and the like through a recognized system which will effectively support existing plans.
Design a system interface between MABAS – MI and the MIEOP (Michigan Emergency Operations Plan) plan to mobilize fire/rescue and specialized capability resources statewide during a time of need through coordination with Bureau of Fire Services (BFS) office and the State Emergency Operations Center.
Secure resource reimbursement and liability protections for activated fire resources through the formal adoption of the Michigan Emergency Management Assistance Compact by the MABAS-MI Divisions participating jurisdictions.
Develop a State-Wide MABAS-MI Coordination Center to assist in mobilizing fire resources, not to diminish the authority of the local Incident Commander, Emergency Management or BFS.
Develop an oversight structure to facilitate, through collaborative partnerships, the on-going management of the MABAS-MI system and to provide leadership to new and prospective MABAS-MI Divisions.
What does this really mean? A scalable system of sharing fire and emergency resources throughout Michigan as needed in a coordinated, organized fashion.
On Saturday, the MABAS Haz Mat teams in our area participated in a hazardous materials exercise. Deputy Fire Chief Randy Wyatt was a participant from our department. He is a member of the County Incident Planning Team. They played out a scenario of a train derailment with tanker cars leaking chlorine gas – a situation that isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Training and staying ready for a high risk/low frequency event is critically important. The MABAS system is an excellent plan for communities and the state to work together.