Regional Emergency Dispatch (RED) Center – our dispatchers. RED Center is a fire and emergency medical service (EMS) dispatch agency located in Northbrook. Their dispatchers are highly trained in fire and EMS operations, and utilize state-of-the-art computer aided dispatch systems to handle emergencies in 13 suburbs. A fire or EMS call to 9-1-1 from Highwood is answered at our answering point in Lake Forest and quickly transferred to RED Center. The computer displays the phone number and location of the caller while the dispatcher is determining the nature of the emergency. The computer then aids the dispatcher in deciding what vehicles and equipment to send. In the case of a medical emergency, the dispatchers are trained to provide directions for care of the patient while the ambulance is responding. These medical directions were extended to approximately 300 patients in 2004. Paramedics from the RED departments, including Highwood’s Dave Mohry, have been trained and tasked to regularly review these events for quality assurance. RED Center also functions as the back-up center for the Chicago Fire Department, and is the primary dispatch center for Illinois’ Statewide Response Plan. In April of 2004, RED Center coordinated the response to Utica after a tornado devastated its downtown area. Fire Departments from around the state provided service to Utica for over a week at RED Center’s direction.
The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) is a cooperative group of neighboring fire departments who have pre-arranged plans to come to the aid of any community experiencing a large emergency incident. MABAS now includes most of Illinois as well as portions of Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri. Our MABAS division – Division 3 – includes communities from Lincolnwood to Highwood and extending as far west as Park Ridge and Des Plaines. When a large incident overwhelms the resources of a MABAS community, other MABAS departments respond to provide aid as needed. These responses can be scaled to suit the needs of the incident by the local incident commander. MABAS Division 3, as well as all other divisions, have specialty teams for large scale incidents other than structure fires. Click on the link below to obtain an overview of each team:
For additional MABAS Division 3 information, visit www.mabas3.org.