SAYREVILLE — On Wednesday, March 7, Middlesex County dedicated a new Salvation Army Canteen at a special ceremony at the County Fire Academy in Sayreville. This new canteen was purchased by the county with federal homeland security funds and will be used to provide food and refreshments to first responders during major emergency situations.
“I am proud that Middlesex County and the Salvation Army are partnering on this important venture,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano. “Since 1985, Middlesex County has maintained a canteen, but due to its extended use it is no longer operational. The acquisition of this new canteen, which will be operated by the Salvation Army, will ensure a prompt response during critical incidents and become an additional and valuable resource to the region.”
“The Canteen for Middlesex County will be a welcome sight to first responders and survivors of disasters,” said Russell Hendrickson, NJ Emergency Disaster Services Director for the Salvation Army. “As in years past, the canteen will be ready when needed, being housed in Perth Amboy. The Salvation Army thanks the Freeholders and the Office of Emergency Management for providing the funding to make this possible.”
“No matter what type of emergency or natural disaster, our first responder community – including our fire fighters, law enforcement officers, and EMS personnel – are ready to place themselves within harm’s way to protect the lives and livelihoods of our residents,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Deputy Director Ronald G. Rios. “With the dedication of this Canteen, the Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Middlesex County Department of Public Safety and Health and our Office of Emergency Management, Communications and Preparedness are taking a step toward protecting the safety and well-being of those who report for duty during mass emergencies.”
“Every emergency situation requires a great deal of teamwork,” said Freeholder H. James Polos, Chairperson of the County’s Office of Public Safety and Health. “No one individual can do it all.”
“I am proud to say, that here in Middlesex County, we are fortunate to have an incredible group of both individuals and organizations that we work closely with to help keep our residents safe. We are grateful for our team of volunteers at the Salvation Army who will help man this new canteen in the face of an emergency and especially to our community of first responders. ”
The vehicle is designed to respond anywhere in Middlesex County within one to two hours and be fully operational within minutes of arrival on any scene of a major terrorist incident or natural disaster. The canteen would also be available to respond to other areas in the region upon request. This vehicle will be stocked with basic rations such as water, coffee and food stuffs that could be prepared and distributed rapidly at a scene.
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