John and JoAnn Keener started the fire catering industry as we know it today in 1970 at the Entiat Fire, near Wenatchee, Washington. Since then they have been a vital part of the collaboration between the Forest Service and national contractors to provide fire fighters with the support they need to best be able to perform their jobs. For a number of years Keener interests represented approximately 20% to 25% of the mobile catering industry, sometimes managing seven kitchens simultaneously, handling as many as fifty two dispatches in a single season and serving over ten million meals with never a significant illness due to the food. Ray Keener, the principal owner of ICS, grew up in this environment and knows the industry. From the beginning John and JoAnn Keener have also been a part of ICS, along with several other individuals who have worked with the Keeners for many years in fire catering.

In our 30-year history, we have brought emergency response to such large-scale disasters as the 1980 Mount St. Helens Eruption, the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, the earthquakes in Loma Prieta and Northridge California, the 1998 floods in North Dakota, hurricanes Fran, Floyd, Andrew, Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Gustav and Ike.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does ICS do?
We do large-scale food service and disaster response in remote locations and under adverse conditions.

What is ICS’ history?
Incident Catering Services was organized in 2003 by Ray Keener to be a family owned and operated small business – we are not a subsidiary of any large corporation. ICS staff members have repeatedly demonstrated extensive knowledge of the emergency services industry and the ability to coordinate equipment, people, supplies and food all across the country. Since 1970, Ray Keener and others on staff have met some of the government’s and private industry’s most challenging needs. In that time span the Keener Family has achieved a management level of simultaneously serving over 27 locations, including 7 mobile kitchens, 9 shower sites and over 10 locations servicing portable toilets, potable water and pumping gray water. At the same time an innovative satellite phone system was put into place (this was prior to today’s wireless capabilities) and the family was also working at numerous Rest and Relaxation units with tents, tables and chairs. They have taken up to 52 incident dispatches in a single season and to date have served well over 11 million meals. The Keener Family history and experience is a part of who we are at ICS.

What services do you offer?
We offer mobile food service, refrigeration, mobile showers and laundry services though our fleet of state of the art trucks and trailers. We are capable of preparing and serving thousands of meals daily. Our services are available for forest fire response, disaster response and military contracts. We also offer rental equipment.

How many people can you feed?
We are capable of feeding thousands of people for every meal. Whatever your need, we have the people and equipment to make it happen. We are also flexible. We can serve a few hundred meals for lunch and then serve a few thousand at dinner if needed. We can operate with little notice and still have enough hot, fresh food ready to serve.

What type of food do you serve?
Our meals are always freshly prepared and served with care. Our menus are creative yet cost effective and can be adjusted to fit your needs. Vegetarian options are also available for each meal.

How many people can use your showers?
We have a variety of mobile showers to choose from. We typically suggest one shower trailer per 500 people. A trained ICS employee will be responsible for maintenance, cleanliness and sanitation of each unit for the duration of your event.

Where are you located?
Our headquarters is located in Snohomish, Washington, but we have equipment stationed all over the country. This makes it easy for us to mobilize quickly or service your event, no matter where it is or where it ends up.

Who do you employ?
We have an extensive database of qualified and skilled personnel. They are rotated on and off job sites, making it easy for us to offer our services indefinitely. We are prepared to stay, no matter how long you need us.

How much do your services cost?
Cost depends on the size and type of equipment you desire. The duration of the job and number of employees also play a part. Contact us for a quote.

ICS staff has the attitude that we’re all in this together and are willing to do anything they could to make this operation a success all the way around.  The skills displayed here and the smooth operation on this incident was outstanding.

Robert C. Elliott - FDUL
Hurricane Katrina Jackson Support Base

Very cooperative, professional, and very good working relationship with all Government team leaders including the Food Unit Leader.  Contractor always went the extra mile to help the needs the ICP whenever asked and needed, and a sincere thanks to the Contractor for all the help and working with us as a team to support the Tornado efforts.

Don Zyzniewski - FDUL
Greensburg Tornado Disaster Support

High menu quality, personable, professional and responsive staff, with a partnership ethic.  The unit functions together in a high efficient and organized manner, maintaining customer service and morale over time.

Sharon Taube – FDUL
Little Bear Fire

It is a pleasure to work with a kitchen that provides excellent service, excellent food and takes pride in all they do.

Maxine Kline – FDUL
Cache Creek Fire

Everyone on this kitchen pod has been incredible to work with.  Due to low numbers, the staff switched around their duties and never missed a step.  They were professional, enthusiastic, helpful, fun and truly a pleasure every day to work with.  Because of the staff the kitchen/food was the best!

Amy Romans – FDUL
Whiskey Complex Fires

ICS has provided this incident with some top quality meals Team 3 has had all season.  Night after night I get compliments from the team and from crews what have enjoyed your meals. Great job! Your staff are always very friendly and willing to go the extra mile to serve the Fire Fighters.  No matter how cold it got or how long they have worked, they are still smiling.

Adam Tat – FDUL
Happy Camp Complex

On behalf of the firefighters and the team on the Fischer Fire, we want to thank you and the others for the exceptional food that you provided at our camp. We can still taste the delicious Wednesday night prime rib!

Gary Berndt and Dave LaFave, Incident Commanders
Fischer Fire - Leavenworth, WA

I asked the crews all the time how they felt about the meals being served. I never got one negative comment regarding the food during this incident.

Phil C. Moller - Food Unit Leader
Fischer Fire - Leavenworth, WA

The clean, well lit, and well thought-out floor plan of the kitchen made our preparation efficient and helped to provide our players with the high level of meal quality and variety that they expect.

Peter Tobin - Chef
Seattle Seahawks

The complete staff was outstanding to work with. They went way out of their way to keep us, as well as many other government agencies happy.

Bruce Ungari - Food Unit Leader
Hurricane Katrina Jackson Support Base - New Orleans, LA