Oct. 2, 2017 – Steadfast in its commitment to ensuring first responders are properly equipped and protected in the line of duty, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation® kicks off its largest annual fundraiser, Public Safety Month, with the goal of raising $1 million for life-saving equipment. Firehouse Subs® guests are invited to support this initiative by visiting their local Firehouse Subs restaurant and donating $1, $5 or $25 for a paper medallion throughout the month of October. Proceeds will help the Foundation provide grant assistance to public safety organizations in need, helping ensure access to tools necessary for protecting communities and saving lives when emergency strikes.
Testimonies showcasing the Foundation’s impact stretch far and wide, from the story of South Daytona Fire Department in Florida using awarded extrication equipment to save a car crash victim just six days after the equipment was delivered, to Sgt. Schmittou from Northville Township Police Department in Michigan using a granted automated external defibrillator (AED) on the first emergency call of his career to save a man in sudden cardiac arrest. The use of equipment awarded by the Foundation also extends beyond traditional emergency calls. It has been proven essential during natural disaster response, as was seen with Harris County Emergency Services District No. 48 Fire-EMS (HCESD), when they used a rescue boat granted this year to successfully recover more than 200 civilians stranded by floodwaters during Hurricane Harvey.
“The Foundation grant for two rescue boats and equipment couldn’t have come at a more perfect time,” said HCESD Chief Jeff Hevey. “We were able to begin conducting rescues that only boats could accomplish prior to state and federal assets arriving in our area. The equipment proved to be invaluable to not only our community, but neighboring communities as well. We were able to help rescue hundreds of residents over the catastrophic multi-day event.”
Lending support in natural disaster recovery efforts is a cornerstone of the Foundation’s mission and ties back to Firehouse Subs and Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Founders Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen’s inspiration for establishing the non-profit 12 years ago following Hurricane Katrina. Since then, the organization has aided in the fight against wildfires, tornadoes, floods and mudslides, while increasing public safety, awarding more than $29.5 million worth of life-saving equipment in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. The organization’s philanthropic roots run deep throughout the entire Firehouse Subs franchise community, which is reflected not only in the local décor at restaurants, but also in the day-to-day operations of the entire 1,100+ unit franchise.
“It’s remarkable to witness how instinctively the Firehouse Subs family springs into action during natural disasters,” said Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Executive Director Robin Peters. “When hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit, we were able to provide immediate financial assistance to volunteers and first responders in recovery zones. Fundraisers like Public Safety Month allow us to continue to support first responders and public safety organizations in need. We hope our donors see how their generous contributions are truly helping save lives and encourage them to share these stories with others so they’re inspired to donate as well.”
Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was founded in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when Firehouse Subs Founders, Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen traveled to Mississippi where they provided food to first responders and survivors. As they traveled back to Florida, they knew they could do more and Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was born with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to first responders and public safety organizations. Since its inception, the non-profit organization has granted more than $29.5 million to hometown heroes in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.
Each restaurant recycles leftover, five-gallon buckets, available to guests for a $2 donation to the Foundation. Donation canisters on register counters collect spare change, while the Round Up Program allows guests to “round up” their bill to the nearest dollar. Grant allocations are made possible thanks to the overwhelming support of Firehouse Subs restaurants and generous donors.