Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation benefited multiple fire departments and communities in the metro area Tuesday morning by donating $162,892 in equipment.
Treynor Fire and Rescue specifically received $28,534 for a monitor/defibrillator. Representatives from the Treynor Fire and Rescue, Pilger (Nebraska) Volunteer Fire and Rescue, Tekamah Rural Fire Department, Omaha Fire Department, Child Saving Institute and more gathered at Firehouse Subs, 14919 W. Maple Road Suite 103, in Omaha, for the event.
Firehouse Subs was created in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and has since donated $44 million worth of life saving equipment in 49 states along with Puerto Rico and Canada, according to Vargas.
“Our foundation is often referred to as the heart of Firehouse Sub, and that is truly because we wouldn’t be here without the restaurant and the guests who donate to the restaurant,” said Meghan Vargas, senior manager of foundation development for Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.
Vargas said patrons have donated by rounding up their tab to the nearest dollar, purchasing a recycled pickle bucket for donations, donating to the spare change canister, and, throughout October, purchasing medallions to hang on the wall for first responders month.
“All of that spare change adds up really quickly and comes back to our foundation so we’re able to help more first responders throughout the country,” said Vargas.
Firehouse Subs owner Tom Davis spoke next and also thanked multiple individuals, including: family and friends, those that helped with construction, individuals who helped get Firehouse Subs to Omaha, as well as customers that made these grants possible.
“I would like to thank our customers who have been so generous over the years we’ve been here,” he said. “With all the things that have gone on in Nebraska especially this year with the snow and flooding, all of the devastation, costs, late planning, we’re still in the Top 3 in the country for donations and we really appreciate it.”
Davis’s son, Tom, followed suit thanking everyone, then listed what each department received:
Child saving institute — $3,516, automated external defibrillator (AED) with accessories and training for 20
Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency — $23,546, utility terrain vehicle (UTV) with rock/brush guards, off-road LED lighting, a mirror and storage rack
Omaha Fire Department and City of Carter Lake Fire Department — $33,204, chest compression devices
Ralston Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad Inc. — $11,053, carbon monoxide monitoring capabilities for two existing cardiac monitors
Treynor Fire and Rescue, Pilger Volunteer Fire and Rescue and Tekamah Rural Fire Dispatch — $78,350 combined, manual monitor/defibrillator and accessories
Winslow Fire Department — $13,223, hoses, a battery blower and accessories
“We want our first responders to have the best equipment and technology available in the event of an emergency. Treynor Fire Department is now better prepared to monitor patients in transport to the hospital,” the Treynor Fire Department responded.
Russ Maguire, fire chief for the Treynor Volunteer Fire Department, responded to the grant before the event.
“These kinds of grants help local fire departments not having to take them out for their own funds,” Maguire said. “This is huge for a local fire departments that depends on tax plans, fundraisers and memorials.”
At the event, Omaha Fire Chief Dan Olsen said the community often shows gestures of support.
“On my way out here to 120th and Maple, a gentleman gestured for me to roll down my window and he said ‘I just wanted to say thanks to all of you for what you do every day for us,’” Olsen said.
He continued saying how these grants will greatly help communities and save lives.
“Just prior to this event, a medic unit that was to be here, deployed a chest pressure device this morning,” said Olsen. “This equipment is extremely important, and it allows us to provide a higher level of service to the community, for that we appreciate Firehouse Subs.”