RHINELANDER - Wednesday morning multiple fire agencies responded to a fire in Sugar Camp. That response was made much easier with MABAS. MABAS stands for Mutual Aid Box Alarm System. Agencies use MABAS to call other departments from the area to help with emergencies like fires or mass casualties.
Wednesday night, fire departments from across Oneida County met at Nicolet College for an exercise using MABAS. The exercise gave first responders the experience of responding to a large incident in a learning environment.
The exercise simulated a large emergency response to a structure fire in downtown Rhinelander.
Depending on the level of the MABAS alert, different agencies send different resources to help.
"What we do is we preplan who is going to respond. We do that by using an 80/20 rule so that all departments will only send 20% or their resources and leave the other 80% in place," said Rhinelander Fire Department Lieutenant Michael Wesle.
MABAS Division 114 is made up of 21 fire departments from across Oneida County and is one of 60 Divisions in the state of Wisconsin. Agencies in Oneida County have started using MABAS more often over the past few years.