Local Salvation Army reveals new, innovative equipment

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Updated: 8/01/2010 10:14 pm

The Salvation Army is easily recognizable by its red christmas kettle and its red shield, both symbols of the organization that's been feeding the hungry since 1865.

Now Lubbock's army wants to be known for its big silver box, or Rapid Response Unit.

Captain Mike Morton said the one of a kind prototype will help Lubbock's Disaster Alert Response Team, or DART, feed the hungry more efficiently.

"We've got a brand new piece of equipment and it's the Rapid Response Unit called The Responder," Morton said. "It allows us an unbelievable response to smaller sized disasters, or even larger disasters, it's just a wonderful augmentation to the Salvation Army equipment."

DART Coordinator Dave Freriks designed "The Responder" as an alternative to a bulky RV unit, also called a canteen.  

"This past christmas we were serving the homeless in the streets of lubbock with our canteen unit here," Morton said. "Well that's a pretty expensive piece of equipment to send to the street and it's subject to a lot of damage. It's more about moving a kitchen than it is about serving. this particular unit is more about serving."

Morton said the unit travels on the bed of a truck or trailer, allowing volunteers to operate response unit.

"With Katrina we saw the need to have something like a pickup truck or small unit," Morton said.  

Lieutenant Brian Mott said the new equipment makes the army much more efficient.

"This vehicle can be equipped within one hour with food, and within that hour we can be deployed out to the field," Mott said.  

The Responder can hold up to twelve hot food trays, two ice chests, tables, and has plenty of space for storage.

The Lubbock Salvation Army anticipates similar units will begin popping up across the country in the near future.

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