by Lisa Tome
Saturday, October 24, was a busy day for Rehab 8.
In the early morning hours, volunteers manned the truck and sold pancakes, eggs, and toast to uniformed soldiers reenacting the Civil War in Rising Sun's Veterans Park.
Five hours later, they set up shop again, this time selling hot dogs and hamburgers to children dressed as Batman and Snow White at the town's Spooktacular.
That was all side jobs. The main focus for Rehab 8, a canteen on wheels, is serving firefighters at fires and other incidents.
"What takes precedence is the fire company," explained Kris Batz, a member of the Community Fire Company of Rising Sun and the coordinator for Rehab 8. She also explained that any money made on the truck, when it is not being used to feed volunteers for free, goes back into the fire company general fund. "What we do is more community service than anything," said Batz, who has worked on the truck since 2009.
The truck is checked annually and must pass Cecil County Health Department food service regulations. At all times, it is stocked with 12 cases of Gatorade and eight cases of water plus chips and snacks. Three to four people staff the truck. Regulars include Batz, Suzanne Wehry, Connie Schuman, and Walter Funk. Ann Gibney helped serve breakfast on Saturday. Marie Walker also helps out.
Batz said that recent events aside from Saturday in Rising Sun, included serving food during fire prevention at North East Walmart. They also help when Maryland Search and Rescue teams are called out and if requested to a scene by Maryland State Police.
"We also worked the Port (Deposit) flood. Wherever we are called, we go," said Batz.
At fires and incidents, the crew may feed 50-60 people. "We fed 100-150 before. That was a full hot turkey dinner with green beans and mashed potatoes. The only thing we don't have on here (the truck) is an oven," said Batz. "It's fun. We enjoy doing it."