FOLEY - The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation awarded a grant to the Foley Police Department of $15,507 for new equipment for the force. The grant allowed the Foley PD to purchase two …
FOLEY - The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation awarded a grant to the Foley Police Department of $15,507 for new equipment for the force. The grant allowed the Foley PD to purchase two all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), something much appreciated by the officers.
“The number of events we have here is quite numerous, all the way from Hangout Music Fest that we help out with in Gulf Shores to our own Balloon Festival that we have here, to the archery event at Graham Creek,” said Deputy Chief Thurston Bullock. “All of these events have lots of people in a small, compact area, and as you know sometimes that can be a bad thing. We can use these to maneuver through such events, or if we just want to make our presence known and be seen we can go in without a vehicle and ride around, cover more ground. We can also interact with people more on the ATVs than if we stayed in a vehicle with the doors closed.”
Bullock said the ATVs will be useful during hurricanes or any situation where the roadways have been compromised, or whenever a civilian is in a location that cannot be easily reached by vehicle. They will be vital in situations where civilians have ended up in remote locations, such as the woods.
“When you have someone with autism or a different type of mental illness sometimes they will navigate towards water, and we have a limited window of time to get to them,” Bullock said. “We have to find them before the elements take hold and lead to a fatality. Those are things the SUVs can’t do well, and on foot patrol we can walk into these areas but we can’t cover as much ground as quickly as we’ll be able to with these ATVs. We really appreciate having this type of equipment, you can never have too many tools in your toolbox when doing your job in these types of situations.”
The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, founded in 2005 during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, began when Firehouse Subs founders Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen arrived in Mississippi to provide food to the first responders and saw the conditions they were working in. Wanting to do more to assist first responders be able to help their communities, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was created to raise money in order to provide lifesaving equipment to first responders. The non-profit organization has granted more than $40 million to first responders in 48 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
“A lot of our success comes from our restaurants and staff, as well as the customers,” said franchise owner Jim Broscious. “Our customers fortunately like giving to the public safety services. We’re able to do what we do thanks to our employees who care, and that care gets passed along to our customers.”
Customers can either purchase $2 pickle bucket donations, leave change in the spare change canisters on the counters, or participate in the Round Up Program, rounding up the bill to the nearest dollar.
“We’re fortunate that we can turn those funds around and do things for first responders that really make a difference in what they do for the community,” Broscious said.
First responders can go online to apply for Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation grants, and oftentimes local Firehouse Subs employees will speak to the first responders in their community about applying.
“The employees in the communities know more of what the first responders there need,” said Nancy Palmer, Events and Outreach Coordinator. “Most times they will speak with their local authorities about different grants that are available through the Foundation, and encourage them to go online and apply.”
To learn more about the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, check out their website at firehousesubsfoundation.org, or stop by any local Firehouse Subs to ask more about what they do to make a difference.