Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Mark Wineka
Salisbury Post
The Elizabeth Hanford Dole Chapter of the American Red Cross continues to provide breakfast and lunch to the out-of-town firefighters manning Salisbury’s four stations and the state and federal investigators working the Salisbury Millwork fire site.
In all, the Red Cross staff and volunteers are getting food to some 170 people, and their efforts will be continuing at least four more days.
“We’ve been busy,” said Deborah Lineberger, director of emergency services for the chapter.
The Red Cross personnel are running on adrenaline but remain strongly committed, she said.
While the job since Friday’s fire has been tough, “it’s been a heart-filling one,” she added.
But the Red Cross is desperate for food and needs the continued help of restaurants, churches, businesses and others who might be able to provide ready-to-eat meals.
Lineberger said Sunday it’s important that the organizations and individuals who want to help contact her first, even before they prepare their foods.
That way, she can help plan a menu and arrange the best time for pickup or delivery.
“If they could deliver it, that’s the perfect thing,” she said.
Lineberger promised she would get back in touch with any caller within 15 minutes.
Her telephone number is 704-633-3854, extension 106.
Again, Lineberger discouraged people from taking food to any of the fire stations or the Salisbury Millwork site before first calling her and making arrangements.
The Red Cross chapter’s involvement began Friday at the fire scene off South Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue as staff and volunteers “canteened” for the firefighters, supplying items such as water, Gatorade and snacks.
The meals started Friday night, and the Red Cross also has been supplying breakfast and lunch to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and State Bureau of investigation teams looking for a cause and origin of Friday’s fire, which killed two Salisbury firefighters.
Local and out-of-town firefighters have been covering Salisbury and Miller’s Ferry stations and took over the fire scene in relief of Salisbury firefighters, who have been coping with the loss of their two comrades.
“The men like to stay at the firehouses with each other,” Lineberger said. “They truly are brothers. They are a family.”
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263 or mwineka@salisburypost.com.

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