April 11, 2018 – Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation® is pleased to announce more than $1.9 million in equipment and resources were awarded to 123 first responder and public safety organizations at the organization’s quarterly March board of directors meeting. Many of the grant awards include needed equipment to help protect first responders, increasing their life-saving capabilities and allowing them to continue protecting the communities they serve.
Often overlooked, first responders face an array of health hazards in the line of duty. Cancer-causing chemicals, carbon monoxide and other dangerous toxins are among the dangers many first responders are exposed to on a day-to-day basis. According to studies by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), firefighters face a nine percent increase in cancer diagnoses and a 14 percent increase in cancer-related deaths compared to the general population.
“These brave men and women dedicate their lives to protecting ours. They are our heroes, and we want to be sure they are protected in every way possible,” said Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Executive Director Robin Peters. “Our Foundation is always learning and responding to different requests from first responders. While on the job, we want them to serve their community with the best equipment the industry has to offer. We also want them to return home to their families safely.”
Seeing a need to better protect first responders, the Foundation approved a variety of protective equipment grant awards, including particulate blocking hoods and personal protective gear, which provide protection against contact with carcinogenic chemicals. Respiratory fit testers and self-contained breathing apparatuses were also on the list, helping prevent first responders from breathing in dangerous toxins, as well as, chemical extracting washers and dryers to remove any harmful toxic byproducts that may have absorbed into protective gear.
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 $33 million to hometown heroes in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.
Grant allocations are made possible thanks to the overwhelming support of Firehouse Subs restaurants and generous donors. 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. The Foundation is also the beneficiary of a Charitable Sales Promotion where Firehouse of America (FOA) will donate to the Foundation a sum equivalent to 0.13% of all gross sales with a minimum donation of $1 million through December 31, 2018. To donate online and support Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, visit FirehouseSubsFoundation.org.