In honor of Father's Day, I thought I would choose a volunteer opportunity that might be particularly appealing to men—although women are welcome as well. In the past I have written about becoming a volunteer firefighter and an auxiliary police officer, but this week I'm focusing on another organization that supports civil services—Central Alarmers.
Founded in 1955 by Howard Glauber, Central Alarmers' main function was to serve refreshments from their coffee wagon to Baltimore County firefighters and police officers. The first coffee wagon was a Glauber Candy delivery truck and the organization was first housed in the parking lot of the Towson Fire Station.
In 1974, Central Alarmers was moved to its current location, the former Station 8 at 7856 Belair Road. It now operates Rehab 155, a canteen truck; Rehab 152, which serves as a backup canteen truck with limited functionality; Rehab 154, a four-wheel drive utility truck; and Rehab 153, which provides seating and bathroom facilities. Central Alarmers provides coffee, water and ice tea to firefighers and police officers and is able to prepare hot dogs, hamburgers and soup during long fires or other incidents. The trucks also provides retreat into air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter.
Automatically dispatched on "working" or 2nd alarm fires, Central Alarmers is also called to police incidents, hostage stand-offs, water rescues and other incidents where services may be needed. They also attend funerals and memorial services for fallen firefighters, police and EMTs.
"The firefighters and police put their lives on the line for us. This is something that we can do for them," explains Perry Hall resident Carroll Geppi, Central Alarmers chairman of the board and 39-year volunteer.
To become a Central Alarmers volunteer, you must first fill out an application. Then there is an interview process, a background check, a drug test and finally, you must be voted in.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or making a monetary donation to help with the purchase of a new much-needed canteen truck, please call 410-887-5416.