Cartersville Fire Department was one of 18 metro Atlanta public safety agencies to receive grant funding through the foundation arm of a local franchise.
On Nov. 12, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation doled out $267,000 to the organizations in an event at the Cobb County Safety Village.
“Grants like this really make a huge impact and relieves stress on operating funds. Public-private partnerships like this help us stretch the funds that are allocated for our department,” CFD chief Scott Carter said. “Firehouse Subs has been a partner in the community that has demonstrated true concern for public safety. Our city administration and mayor and council work hard to provide the community and responders with the best tools possible to protect our community, but the truth of the matter is there are only so many funds to go around. Grants like this make the difference.”
Cartersville Fire Department received $22,478, which will be used to purchase 68 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) face pieces and two rapid intervention, or RIT, packs.
Both, Carter said, are critical to firefighter safety.
“The SCBA face pieces are the newest, up-to-date face pieces that also hold up at higher temperatures,” he said. “Not only are they designed to the latest NFPA standards but we found in our research of firefighter injuries and line-of-duty deaths that there were times where the actual face pieces failed. This is an added safety factor.
“The rapid intervention packs are used to rescue firefighters. If we have what we call a ‘mayday’ situation where firefighters become trapped during an emergency, this allows us additional breathing air and better capabilities to rescue our own. Combining this grant with the efforts of our city will now place RIT packs on all of our first-out responding fire trucks.”
Created in 2005, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation works to provide funding, life-saving equipment and resources to first responders and public safety organizations struggling with older equipment or facing limited or no access to updated technology and needed resources.
The foundation has given more than $15 million to agencies in 44 states and Puerto Rico, benefiting 1,154 public safety organizations. In the state of Georgia, more than $1.2 million has been granted since 2005.
“These brave men and women dedicate their lives to protecting ours, and it is a privilege to provide them with the tools needed to help ensure their safety as well as ours,” said Robin Peters, executive director of Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, in a press release. “As former firefighters, Firehouse Subs Founders Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen saw firsthand how critical it was for first responders to have the training and tools they need to save lives.”
Among the equipment provided to the metro area agencies were a tactical series robot capable of performing bomb disposal, surveillance and reconnaissance; thermal imaging cameras to help locate the fire source and victims; an interactive fire safety house; automated external defibrillators; fire hose; vehicle extrication equipment; and tablet computers.
“We are very thankful and humbled that we were chosen because I know they receive many applications. The support that the local Firehouse Subs has shown to our community is huge,” Carter said. “Since our local Firehouse Subs opened last year, I have always enjoyed going in. My favorite sandwich is the Hook and Ladder, and now that sandwich tastes better than ever.”
To raise money for the foundation, Firehouse Subs restaurants participate in a number of fundraising efforts. Each restaurant recycles leftover, five-gallon pickle 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.