Dunkin’ Donuts announced Wednesday that they will donate $250,000 for a state-of-the-art canteen truck that will be operated by Box 4 Special Services, a Worcester-based nonprofit volunteer organization staffed by off-duty police, fire and emergency medical workers.
The canteen truck will aid first responders in emergency situations across Worcester County and additional cities in Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex counties. Local towns being served by the truck include Framingham, Natick, Ashland, and Marlborough.
This is the first truck of its kind in the area, and will provide aid for fire, police, state, and federal agencies.
The canteen truck will offer hot coffee, meals, water, a restroom, and warming and cooling equipment to service first responders during emergency situations such as tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, building fires, hazmat incidents, brush fires, police operations, searches and training exercises.
The truck will be staffed 24 hours a day by volunteers including firefighters, police and emergency medical technicians. The truck is currently being built and will be ready for service in early 2013.
Box 4 is a donor-driven and funded organization, so the level of services depends on the donations received.
Steve Favulli, Worcester firefighter and president of Box 4 Special Services, said that not everyone realizes that firefighters and police need relief during emergencies, too.
“There are times when we are battling a blaze all day in 90 degree weather, or keeping residents safe during a power outage caused by a snowstorm," Favulli said in a prepared statement. "I cannot express how much a cold glass of water or hot cup of coffee means to us when we’ve been on a job for hours. It gives us the strength to keep going.”
Rob Branca, a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee from Worcester, said his company was proud to provide funding, noting that it was "a natural fit to step up" and help build the truck.
“The Worcester area has been hard hit by natural disasters in recent years and we’re excited to provide this canteen truck and allow first responders to better respond to those in need," Branca said.
The new canteen truck will be 100 percent staffed by volunteers. Anyone interested in getting involved must be at least 18 years old and associated with fire, police or EMS.
Representatives from Box 4 are also currently searching for a location to house the canteen truck.
For more information, please call Steve Favulli at 508-612-0096 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at email@example.com