Columbus Salvation Army to aid local disaster relief efforts

The Columbus Salvation Army has officially joined with the Bartholomew County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) as one of the support agencies working to provide disaster relief services. EMA Deputy Director Susan Armstrong says that services include: support to first responders on the scene, assistance to residents displaced due to fire, as well as responding to county-wide incidents, among others.

Armstrong says that in order to help the local Salvation Army in its new role, the organization will soon receive a Salvation Army Disaster Service vehicle, also known as a “Canteen.” She says that this vehicle can transport food, water and personnel to disaster locations, as well as serve up to two-thousand meals per day.

Armstrong says that the Salvation Army’s new role, as well as the new vehicle, will be introduced at special disaster training classes that will run Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Salvation Army site, located at 2525 Illinois Street. She explains that the first class is called “Introduction to Emergency Disaster Services,” while the second is “Mass Sheltering.” Armstrong says that approximately 25 volunteers will be attending the classes. She adds that the Canteen will be officially turned over to the Columbus Salvation Army during a ceremony at noon that includes Indiana Disaster Service Director Jerry Larsen.

“Having a canteen here will speed up the process so that we can better serve the needs of the Columbus and Bartholomew County community, as well as first responders,” says Captain Alan Sladek, Commanding Officer of the Columbus Salvation Army. Armstrong says that Captain Sladek, who is in his second year as Chaplain for the East Columbus Independent Fire Department, has over a decade of Emergency Disaster experience.

To learn out more about the Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services, visit