By: LaSalle Blanks
Posted: Sep 14, 2018 06:20 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 15, 2018 08:20 PM EDT
OAKDALE, Conn. (WTNH) - For Gary Murphy and Bernadine Edgley, helping people is in their DNA. They're volunteers with The Salvation Army here in Connecticut and they spent a good part of Friday packing up the mobile canteen truck for an early Saturday trip to the Boston area, where several homes were rocked by gas explosions Thursday.
When Bernadine first saw the images on the news of huge balls of flames shooting up from holes in people's rooftops, she had this reaction:
"How soon can we get there?" Bernadine said. "How soon can we help?"
The canteen they use has been used to help emergency efforts in the past. In fact, it's the same Salvation Army canteen that was used to help first responders at Ground Zero, right after 9/11.
Gary and Bernadine packed it with enough food to serve hundreds of meals to first responders and to provide some essentials for displaced residents.
"When we get that call it's really about helping others and making sure people have something to eat some warm blankets, clothes if needed and we'll get it done," said Murphy, who serves as the Emergency Disaster Services Coordinator for New London County.
The Salvation Army wasn't the only ones sending help up north.
A crew with Norwich Public Utilities left this afternoon. Eversource is assisting with the investigation and has workers in Massachusetts helping to make sure the communities are safe and gas lines are secure. The American Red Cross has a volunteer from Connecticut helping to run a shelter for families. She told News8 around 500 families were at her shelter Thursday night.
These are just a few of the ways Connecticut is answering the call.
Bernadine and several other Salvation Army volunteers from New London County are headed out at 4am Saturday.
"It's a niche that I love to fill -- being able to help people," Bernadine said.