Fire chiefs honor Oakland County risk manager

Oakland County Risk Manager Julie Secontine is this year’s recipient of the President’s Award from the Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs (MAFC), County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced. The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to ensuring Michigan fire departments are prepared to respond to emergencies.
 

“Julie has been a strong supporter of fire departments throughout Michigan having the tools they need to be prepared for emergencies,” Patterson said. “Her law degree and emergency management certifications have enabled her to help fire executives implement procedures and agreements that allow departments to provide various forms of mutual aid.”
Michael O’Brian, MAFC president and chief of the Brighton Area Fire Authority, said Secontine’s contributions have been invaluable.
 
“Julie has done more work to help the fire service in Michigan to be prepared than any other civilian in recent history,” O’Brian said. “Her work with development and the continual support of Task Force One to MABAS-MI has been exemplary.”
 
MABAS-MI (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System-Michigan) is a user-driven system designed to streamline the requesting and providing of emergency and fire services resources across Michigan for day to day mutual aid and for large scale events such as major fires, train derailments, tornadoes, wild fires, domestic or foreign terrorism, and other events that may overwhelm local resources. Secontine has been involved in the implementation of the MABAS program in Michigan from the beginning. Among her contributions are helping to create the mutual aid agreements that enable fire departments throughout Michigan to respond to incidents in state and out of state.
 
Michigan is among a number of Midwest states that have implemented MABAS. Currently, there are 280 member fire departments across 20 MABAS divisions in Michigan. Also there are an Urban Search and Rescue Task Force, Technical Rescue Strike Teams, Hazardous Material Response Teams, and an Incident Management Team.
 
“Her efforts have allowed Michigan’s fire service to be better prepared to respond to all types of emergencies and have developed a system for that to continue for many years to come. The fire service does not easily call someone a sister who doesn’t wear a badge but I can tell you that the fire service across Michigan calls her one of our own,” O’Brian said.
 
For more information about MABAS, click on www.mabasmi.org. Secontine, a Rochester Hills resident, has been with Oakland County for 28 years.