MABAS is an organization that jumps into action in the event of a major incident where the local fire department would be unable to cope on its own. The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System coordinates the response to large fires, train accidents, hazardous material incidents, airplane crashes, earthquakes and other emergencies with large numbers of causalities, providing intelligent and effective standardized rescue methods. It can mobilize 38,000 of the 40,000 firefighters in Illinois, and also assists fire departments in Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin, while also providing equipment. The system is funded by its member organizations and no one is charged for its services. MABAS Plans Chief Tom Lovejoy gave us a first-hand look at their facility.
Near the Triboro Bridge in New York City, where the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx meet, FDNY has a 66-acre site known among firefighters as "The Rock". There on Randall’s Island, the department runs its Fire Academy where aspiring and experienced firefighters from each of the districts hone their rescue skills. The training is seen as one of the toughest courses in the world. And, that is why they call it "The Rock!"