Consolidating police fire departments

But MABAS has proven it works, and it is expanding throughout the nation; notably fire departments have not disappeared because of it.

There is no doubt that the fire service works better together, at an emergency, then any other emergency agency.

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Some view it as the greatest money saver of all times or the best method to improve services; others the loss of their power or job. Simply, consolidation equals change and change is most difficult for many individuals and professions - especially those with strong traditions.

The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) seems to be a good example of a type of consolidation - we just don't call MABAS a consolidation.

Working together off the emergency scene is what non-fire folks (i.e.

elected and governing officials) understand and for the most part embrace.

Skittish residents, however, are concerned these reconstituted public safety departments will be more widespread and less responsive to their local safety and emergency needs.

Nonetheless, the trend is likely to extend deep into other suburban areas and rural Illinois, say public finance and municipal experts.By 2011, three years into the economic crisis, nearly 30 percent of all California cities had no police department of their own, having opted instead to contract the County Sherriff for police services.Looking to share costs, other cities are consolidating their police agencies.Municipal finances have become so dire the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus — made up of the region's 273 mayors — convened a task force and commissioned a study in 2009 to explore emergency service consolidation options.Municipalities have downsized and individually done as much as they can, but are now looking at consolidation as "the next phase," according to David Bennett, executive director of the caucus.If that wasn’t interesting enough, just wait, there’s more.

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