Salvation Army seeks new canteen vehicle

July 02, 1997


Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The big red truck that shows up at the scene of serious fires or disasters, and from which volunteers dole out food and drinks to emergency personnel, has made its last trip.

Salvation Army officials announced Tuesday the start of a fund drive to raise $55,000 to purchase a new truck that will be a self-contained disaster response unit for Franklin County.

It will replace the 1962 model that, without brakes and a failing engine, has been out of commission for a month.


"It's shot," said Larry Shoemaker, Salvation Army board member and chairman of the fund-raiser.

In the event of a disaster, Shoemaker said, volunteers are prepared to provide emergency workers with cold drinks and some food with a van. If faced with a desperate situation, Shoemaker said they could try to borrow Harrisburg's unit.

"We'll do something, but we're very limited right now," Shoemaker said.

Volunteers have provided meals for the disaster response unit out of the Salvation Army's kitchen for more than 30 years, and a staff is called in to keep the unit supplied at the scene, Shoemaker said.

Donations can be mailed to the Salvation Army Corps, 159 Lincoln Way West, Chambersburg, Pa. 17201.

"It's been very helpful, particularly in the event of multiple-alarm incidents when there's a lot of men," said Chambersburg Fire Department Lieutenant Clyde Thomas.

Thomas said the drinks from the "canteen unit," as rescue officials call it, are especially welcome in extremely hot or cold weather.

Some communities depend on ladies auxiliaries to provide refreshments, but Chambersburg's is small, Thomas said. That makes the Salvation Army's disaster response unit a necessity, he said.

Once the $55,000 is raised, Shoemaker said it will take about three months to get the new unit.

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