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'Invaluable' Volunteers Trying To Keep Above Water

The all-volunteer rehabilitation force for Baltimore County first responders will be able to build their new vehicle, but need help to keep going.

It looks like the Central Alarmers, a volunteer group that takes care of first responders at fires and crime scenes, will be able to build their new rehabilitation vehicle.

Back in July, Patch reported that the 57-year-old group was after the company they planned to buy a new vehicle from went belly up, leaving them with no way to recover a $52,000 down payment.

Now though, it seems as thought things are looking up.

Alarmers president Frank Ward said that production on their new truck is scheduled to begin today after they received a $142,000 loan from the Baltimore County Volunteer Fireman's Association.

The group still needs help to pay the remaining cost of the vehicle, estimated at a total of $190,000, and to recover the lost down payment on the original truck.

Ward said that in order to raise those funds and keep their accounts above water, the group was undertaking a number of intiatives.

"We've raised about 6 or 7 thousand dollars so far, but that's a far cry from the 52,000 we lost," Ward said. "We would have been able to pay off the original truck in 6 or 7 years, this new one is going to take 15."

A Perry Hall chiropractor, Abundant Life Chiropractic, has agreed to donate all the proceeds from any $33 new patient exams between Sept. 10 and 14 to the group. A .pdf for the fundraiser is attached to this article.

In addition, the group will hold a fundraiser a Nottingham Pizza Hut store, 8641 Belair Road, on Sept. 26 from 5-9 p.m.

Finally, the group is offering a raffle for a mini-crab feast—the winner will get a bushel of crabs, five pounds of steamed shrimp, two dozen ears of corn, a 30-pack of beer, a case of soda, eight mallets, eight knives and paper to cover the table. The drawing will be held on Sept. 26 and tickets, either $1 apiece or $5 for six, are available by phone at 443-324-7099.

When we wrote the original story Elise Armacost, a spokeswoman for Baltimore County Police and Fire, called the Fullerton-based Central Alarmers and their westside counterparts, the Box 234 Association, invaluable.

"We have two rehab companies for our emergency services and they perform an essential service. When there's an extended call, any hour day or night, they're on hand to provide water, food, sunscreen—a warm place in the cold, or air conditioning in the summer," Armacost said. "Sometimes our first responders can be out there for hours and it's essential to be able to eat and drink so you can keep going."

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Mark September 11, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Ask any emergency responder who has been at the scene of a major incident - a hot or cold drink and a hot dog can make a huge difference. These people don't get the attention they deserve for running the coffee wagons in the County. Way to go, Frank! Good luck.
jack amrhein September 11, 2012 at 05:41 PM
I agree Mark! These men and women are a God send on cold night and hot days, providing drinks and snacks to keep us going on emergency scenes. I cant say enough good things about them.
Barbara Huber September 12, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I think they should set up at Essex Day and ask for donations.

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