We are MESS.
In 1993, the Metropolitan Emergency Support Services (MESS) was chartered as a non-Profit 501(c)3 Corporation. Our mission is to serve our First Responders so that they can continue in their emergency operations. Since inception we have responded to over 4,000 requests from fire, police, public work departments and emergency management agencies.
MESS is an organization of dedicated citizen volunteers that have been serving food and refreshments to fire, police, county, state, Federal and Department of Defense Agencies in Northern Cook, Lake, and McHenry counties in Illinois. Our focus is to provide meals, re-hydration and refreshments at emergency incidents.
We are led by a five member Board of Directors, three Operation Officers, and have a roster of more than fifty (50) dedicated hard working members. MESS members are available to respond to scenes such as fires, hazardous material events, special events, hostage barricade incidents, road side safety checks, Line ff Duty deaths, out of area special requests, funerals, and any man-made or natural disasters. Our vehicles and teams are strategically located across northern Cook and Lake Counties in Illinois.
The health and safety of the first responders is critical as they work at an incident. We provide OSHA and NFPA regulated rehabilitation services.
We feed and hydrate these first responders, which includes fire, EMS, police, EMA, and public works staff. On a regular fire response, we are normally paired with an Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance and squad unit.
MESS has a fleet of mobile Canteens. Each support vehicle is equipped with appliances, such as propane stoves, microwave, and freezer, along with insulated thermal containers and a food preparation area, in addition to beverage service areas. We typically carry enough food to make 2 full meals for up to 200 people, though additional support can be obtain by our other units to increase those capabilities.
Each support vehicle carries a wide variety of food items along with fresh made Gatorade, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and bottled water. In addition we also have a climate-controlled warehouse for food and beverage storage.
We also have a handicapped accessible portable toilet on a trailer.
MESS is supported through donations made by citizens like you, corporations, and other agencies. Any donation is federal tax deductible. MESS accepts Cash, Checks, and In-kind donations of commercially packaged food products, serving items or equipment. Additional information can be found on our donation \ support page.
If you find this interesting, PLEASE GIVE US A CALL! We’ll be happy to show you what we do and how we do it.