Center for Public Safety Excellence

CFAIEstablishes and promotes recognized professional standards for fire agencies.

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Homeland Security

Homeland SecurityFind out the current threat level and information on Homeland Security.

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State of Illinois Disaster Preparedness Plan

tate of Illinois Disaster Preparedness PlanA three-part plan - how to prepare, what to do during a disaster, and how to recover.

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Cook County Department of Homeland Security

tate of Illinois Disaster Preparedness PlanOrganizes and coordinates the countywide preparedness efforts.

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Emergency Preparedness

Disaster can strike without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhoods, workplace or school or confine you to your home.

What would you do if basic service such as water, gas, electricity ot telephones were cut off?

Please use this Emergency Preparedness Guide to learn what to do during an emergency.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

The Park Ridge Fire Department, the Park Ridge Police Department, and the City of Park Ridge developed a CERT program to promote a partnering effort between emergency services and the people they serve. The goal is for emergency personnel to provide training in basic response skills to volunteer members from our neighborhoods, community organizations, and workplaces. CERT members are then integrated into the emergency response capabilities for their respective areas.

Questions regarding CERT should be directed to

Mutual Aid Box Alarm System

MABAS is a mutual aid organization that has been in existence since the late 1960s. Firmly established throughout northern Illinois, MABAS includes over 550 member fire departments organized within 46 divisions. MABAS divisions geographically span an area from Lake Michigan to west of Rockford and south through Champaign-Urbana, Douglas County, St. Clair County, and St. Louis. Four Wisconsin divisions also share MABAS with their Illinois counterparts. Interest is also becoming evident from the Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri bordering communities.

MABAS includes over 25,000 firefighters and daily staffed emergency response units, including more than 750 fire stations, 900 engine companies, 275 ladder trucks, 600 ambulances (mostly paramedic capable), 150 heavy rescue squads, 125 light rescue squads, and 225 water tankers. Fire/EMS reserve (back-up) units account for more than 600 additional emergency vehicles.

MABAS also offers specialized operations teams for hazardous materials (HAZMAT), underwater rescue/recovery (DIVE) and above grade/below grade, trench and building collapse rescues (aka Technical Rescue Teams-TRT). Certified fire investigators are resources who can be "packaged" as teams for larger incidents requiring complicated and time-consuming efforts for any single agency.

Every MABAS participating agency signs the same contract with their 550 counterpart MABAS agencies, making this a unique organization. Agreement by all MABAS agencies to standards of operation, incident command, minimal equipment staffing, safety and on-scene terminology, allows them to work together seamlessly on any emergency scene regardless of their geopolitical origin, are able.

All MABAS agencies operate on a common radio frequency, Interagency Fire Emergency Radio Network (IFERN) and are activated for response through pre-designed "box" cards, designed by each participating agency and tailored to meet their local risk need. MABAS also provides mutual aid station coverage to a stricken community when their fire/EMS resources are committed to an incident for an extended period. More than 850 MABAS extra alarm incidents occur annually throughout the 46 divisions of MABAS. The expansion of mutual aid to a statewide system does not require all municipalities and fire districts to join as a member agency of MABAS. The State of Illinois recognizes MABAS as a primary response agency for disasters and other declared emergencies.

Communities face emergencies on a daily basis which overtax their local fire/EMS and special operations capabilities. Often the "local" crisis doesn't warrant the state's Declaration of Disaster and its accompanying statutory powers. Without a Declaration of Disaster or Declaration of an Emergency, statewide mutual aid cannot be activated, nor are the statutory powers in force for an assisting agency's reimbursement, liability and workmen's compensation coverage. When such cases exist, being a MABAS member agency affords invaluable benefits to a stricken community, regardless of where the community is located.

As a MABAS member agency, every community has the same agreement as the 550 other communities-- all agreeing to send pre-determined resources, without reservation (but always "as available"), to assist a stricken community: to send pre-determined resources, without reservation (but always "as available"), to assist a stricken community. Without such a formal written mutual aid agreement, a request for mutual aid assistance becomes a voluntary act that subject the fire chief and his community at great risk should equipment be damaged, or if a firefighter is injured or killed in the line of duty.

To become a MABAS Division/agency, a resolution or ordinance must be enacted by the governing body and the MABAS contract must be signed. Most MABAS agencies are comprised of a number of geographically co-located municipalities or districts. However, one community can also be its own MABAS division. The City of Chicago is MABAS Division IX (9), while some MABAS divisions have nearly 30 member departments or districts. All it requires is discussion, agreement and political commitment.

The Executive Board of MABAS will provide information to inquiring agencies including prepared ordinances, resolutions, and the standard contract to communities who are seriously interested. There is no cost to join MABAS and dues are self-imposed by and at the control of each individual MABAS division. The MABAS Executive Board meets quarterly and functions as a coordinating agency.

Fire Chiefs may inquire about MABAS by contacting Chief Jay Reardon, Chairman


Collaborative Healthcare Urgency Group (CHUG) is a group of organizations that have developed a community-wide urgent action plan that represents a coordinated effort within the healthcare continuum of care and is integrated with community, state, and federal plans. The plan provides access to disaster planning, response and recovery and will enable our communities to move efficiently through various levels of healthcare during an emergency, disaster, or other urgent event.

The collaborative efforts began in 2001, as a response to the 9/11 tragedy, as an extension of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital's disaster plan. CHUG organizations include but are not limited to: hospitals, emergency services, public safety, extended healthcare facilities, assisted living and independent living facilities, home health and home care agencies, and transportation providers.

CHUG provides a safe, organized, and efficient process for evacuation, transportation and relocation of vulnerable population. CHUG also offers solutions for providing delivery of vaccines in the event of an infectious disease outbreak.


Emergency Operation Plan (EOP)

Emergency plans are created by local government to:

  • minimize injuries and save the maximum number of lives in the event of a major emergency or disaster
  • protect property
  • preserve functioning civil government
  • maintain and support economic activities essential for the survival and eventual recovery from the emergency or disaster, and
  • expeditiously return to normal operations.

All emergency and disaster situations have certain commonalties. The EOP focuses on developing a comprehensive emergency management system to deal with natural or technological situations and addresses each phase of emergency management, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The EOP's basic document provides an overview of the entire operations plan and describes the responsibilities of each city department. Functional annexes are provided for each major governmental responsibility. This is the "nuts and bolts" section that provides the guidelines of who does what and when. Department heads and governmental decision-makers may need to make modifications during an actual emergency or disaster. The final portion of the plan provides situational annexes that outline a comprehensive response by each major governmental unit to each phase of specific disasters .

Questions regarding EOP should be directed to Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Paul Lisowski.

Helpful Links:

File for Life. How do I obtain a File for Life?

Fire Stations. Where are the Park Ridge fire stations?

Hospital requested. Why is the Park Ridge Fire Department not always able to take patients to the hospital specified by the citizen?

View More FAQ


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