Small Illinois hazmat team stays ready

Pingree Grove and Countryside Fire Protection District

Pingree Grove Image 3

Low call-volume fire departments need to share resources to provide all the response capabilities necessary. And that’s especially true when it comes to hazmat.

Roughly 40 miles northwest of Chicago on the outskirts of Elgin, Illinois is the Pingree Grove and Countryside Fire Protection District. This combination department with eight full-time staffers and 41 part-time members covers an area of 50 square miles.

Pingree Grove Image 1
Fire District hazmat team trains bimonthly with their MABAS Division II partners.

In 2020 the department ran about 1,300 calls; of those two were hazmat. And in the previous year, three of their 1,227 calls were for a hazmat incident.

The fire district’s hazmat team consists of three members trained to the technician level. With so few members on the team, even one major incident would overwhelm them. To get around this, the district is part of the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (or MABAS), which is a systematic way to knowing what resources are available and getting them quickly where needed. Including the district, 11 entities belong to MABAS Division II. The MABAS system covers all of Illinois and includes many departments across stateliness that border Illinois. MABAS has 40 hazmat teams.

Pingree Grove Image 2
The Pingree Grove and Countryside Fire Protection District hazmat team trains monthly to keep their skills sharp.

The Pingree Grove hazmat team trains monthly. Its team members also train bimonthly with their MABAS hazmat team.

Pingree Grove Image 3
The district’s walk-in rig has enough basic equipment to start any hazmat operation.

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  • Name

    Pingree Grove and Countryside Fire Protection District

  • Location

    Elgin, IL

  • Team Founded

    2010

  • Coverage

    50 square miles

  • Members

    3

  • Training Level

    Hazardous Materials Technician

  • Training Frequency

    Monthly in department, bimonthly with MABAS

  • Major Equipment

    Walk-in rescue unit that contains basic equipment to begin any hazmat operation

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Name:

Pingree Grove and Countryside Fire Protection District

Location:

Elgin, IL

Team Founded:

2010

Coverage:

50 square miles

Members:

3

Training Level:

Hazardous Materials Technician

Training Frequency:

Monthly in department, bimonthly with MABAS

Major Equipment:

Walk-in rescue unit that contains basic equipment to begin any hazmat operation
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