From June 3 - June 5, Northbrook Captain David Schweihs and firefighters Bob Gangloff and Ryan Murphy were selected to participate in a Mobilization and Operational Exercise to train and work in conjunction with the Illinois Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) and the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) IL Task Force Team-1. Funding and overtime reimbursement was provided by FEMA through the Cook County Urban Areas Security Initiative.
MABAS Divisions 1, 3, & 24 Water Rescue Teams were given the opportunity to perform simulated severe storm training exercises involving tornado and severe flooding scenarios at the 1,000 acre Muscatatuck Urban Training Center located in Butlerville, IN. Water Rescue teams performed several rescue exercises involving multiple disciplines including surface, roof, and sub-surface rescue and recoveries from both partial and completely submerged automobiles and full-size residential homes.
During the training, the drill site received about four inches of rain, resulting in the water rising nearly seven inches in a matter of hours, providing for a very realistic flooding incident for the rescue participants.
MABAS and USAR are evaluating and developing a water rescue component to be integrated into the USAR structure. In the past few years MABAS has received multiple calls from communities around the state seeking assistance with devastating flooding. Northbrook Fire Department’s Water Rescue Team continues to strive for the highest level of preparedness through training and continued education to respond to natural disasters affecting our community or region.