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New London County Emergency Disaster Services

Released 13 January 2014

New London EDS

New London County Emergency Disaster Services

In Need of Volunteer Team Members!

NEW LONDON – The Salvation Army’s New London County Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) Director, Robert Heal, who himself is a volunteer, is asking for your help. The New London County EDS team is in need of volunteers! Even if you are unable to volunteer personally, you can still help by spreading the word.

New London EDS

While every disaster is unique and creates its own special needs, the core of The Salvation Army’s EDS program consists of several basic services. The most visible Salvation Army disaster service is the hot meals and cold drinks served from a Salvation Army mobile kitchen to disaster survivors and emergency personnel. These Salvation Army "canteens" are essentially full-service "kitchens-on-wheels."

Being an EDS volunteer team member allows you to help support your local community in times of crisis! One major volunteer need is for EDS Canteen Drivers. An EDS Canteen Driver is the team member responsible for getting the canteen to and from community and disaster events and assisting in the canteen’s operation on scene. The driver is often the first EDS team member to arrive and is responsible for driving and initial set up. The driver is also typically the EDS person in charge during each event. A routine EDS call typically lasts for a few hours and involves two to four EDS team members.

New London EDS

Specific responsibilities for EDS Canteen Drivers can include loading the canteen with necessary supplies for the reported number to be fed, checking stocked items, preparing coffee, driving the canteen to the scene, contacting the served agency (police, fire, etc.) to determine where to set up, setting up to cook and serve food, cooking as needed, directing other EDS team members, planning departure, cleaning the canteen with the help of team members, and reporting meal counts to the EDS Director.

Other team member volunteers are also needed to assist once the canteen has arrived on scene, such as with helping to distribute food and refreshments. Required qualifications for all members involve a desire to help others in times of need, a highly flexible schedule/availability and willingness to receive calls at odd hours or during adverse weather conditions, being active and in reasonable physical shape, and an ability to remain calm in oftentimes stressful situations.

New London EDS

Particularly for EDS Canteen Drivers, recommended qualifications entail previous experience/familiarity with driving a large vehicle (i.e. RV or truck), radio communications, command experience, cooking, EDS, car mechanics, first aid skills, and responding at a moment’s notice. Training is provided for anyone who wishes to participate.

If interested in becoming an EDS Canteen Driver, parties must have a driver’s license, be at least 21, and undergo a mandatory background check. Such an opportunity is ideal for people ages 55+, including retired and former police, fire, and EMS staff and military. If interested in helping out in any capacity, or for more information in general, contact Bob Heal, EDS Director for New London County, via (860) 443-6409 or Email at or Alternatively, you can stop by The Salvation Army’s New London Corps, located at 11 Governor Winthrop Boulevard, New London, CT, 06320. For any help that you can provide, we thank you.

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