Champaign-Urbana Emergency Services Support Team

Emergency service support members come alongside those living through a crisis to provide a safety net of aid and basic service until community services can take over.

  • An elderly man dies in his home. His wife of fifty years, with no nearby family and many questions and fears waits for the coroner. Who waits with her?
    ESST Members
  • A family awakens in the night to a suffocating fire. There is no home to return to…fire personnel move to the next emergency. Who connects the family with community services?
    ESST Members
  • A car crash far from home leaves parents in the hospital and children uninjured. Until relatives (who live hours away) arrive, who cares for the children?
    ESST Members

Who are ESST Members?

A team of twenty trained volunteers who — upon request — respond to help fellow citizens during a crisis.

What is ESST?

In 1996, this Champaign-Urbana based service took root with the cooperation of law enforcement, fire, emergency medical providers, coroner and community social service providers. They aim to provide a safety net of aid and basic service until community services can take over.

When are ESST Services Available?

Support members remain on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When Champaign or Urbana fire or police officers request ESST assistance, members are alerted to respond.

Champaign Fire Department Lieutenant Lon Pitcher coordinates this community effort with support and funding from Champaign Fire Department, Champaign Police Department as well as Urbana Fire/Rescue Services and Urbana Police Department. Members of the team meet monthly to update skills and share information.