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Mutual Aid Box Alarm System

MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System) in partnership with IEMA (Illinois Emergency Management Agency) has established a statewide, non-discriminatory mutual aid response system for fire, EMS, and specialized incident operational teams. Sharing the effort are representatives from the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Department of Public Health – EMS Division, and Illinois Fire Chiefs Association. The system defines a resource response plan to any location within the state when the Governor orders a Declaration of Disaster. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on January 16, 2001, and updated in 2006, a first in Illinois fire service history.

MABAS has also become a Partner Agency with Cook County’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Together, MABAS and CCDHSEM designs and establishes capability-based systems to serve the high-density, urban area.

Historically, IEMA has had the capability through state resources and assets to support disaster-stricken communities in many areas except Fire, EMS, Technical Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue, Water Rescue & Recovery, and Hazardous Materials Operations Teams. Illinois resources like the State Police, Department of Transportation, and numerous other assets are able to mobilize under the direction of the Governor in response to a disaster. Illinois does not own fire departments, EMS ambulances, or specialized operations teams – substantial “system” resources within the control of the state are lacking. The plan provides a system of “one-stop shopping” for IEMA officials to activate and mobilize local municipal fire, EMS, and special operations assets through MABAS.

Statewide mutual aid systems have been in existence since the late 1960s. Pre-September 11th, MABAS was heavily rooted throughout northern Illinois. Since September 11th, MABAS has rapidly grown throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and parts of Iowa and Missouri. Day-to-day MABAS extra alarms are designed to provide the fast response of emergency resources to communities during ongoing emergencies.

Learn more here.


Our Story

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MABAS 27 began many moons ago as WILCO....

Laraway Dispatch

MABAS 27 departments are dispatched by the Laraway Communications Center.

16911 West Laraway Road

Joliet, IL 60433

(815) 727-6000

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