Emergency Managers Test the Water

Sep 27, 2013

Rhinelander emergency managers will be testing their ability to get water to the site of a large fire. 

Saturday officials will be testing a response system called Mutual Aid Box Alarm system or MABAS. Oneida County Emergency Management Director Ken Kortenhof says fire department crews will gather at the Rhinelander Airport.

“What we’re gonna do is call a box alarm.  Emergency vehicles that are assigned to respond to that alarm will go out to the airport, and what they’re gonna do is they’re gonna shuttle water.  And the test is gonna be how much water we can shuttle and how efficiently we can shuttle it.”

The test will involve several tanker trucks called tenders...that are used to replenish a fire truck’s supply of water.  Kortenhof says this kind of team response is used when a fire is too big for one crew to handle.

“Basically a pre-planned situation where the individual fire department that responds is just overhwlemed by the size of the incident, and needs additional help.”

Kortenhof says it’s the first time they’ve done this exact kind of test, though officials test the MABAS alarm system every other month.