ALBANY — The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation selected six southwest Georgia fire departments and a police department to receive a combined total of more than $122,000 in grants that will be used to purchase lifesaving equipment. The equipment will be awarded on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. with live demonstrations from first responders and explanations of the importance of the equipment.
The emergency equipment donation was made possible through customer support of Firehouse Subs restaurants. Five-gallon pickle buckets are recycled at every Firehouse Subs restaurant and are available to customers for a $2 donation, donation canisters for spare change, and the “round-up” program, in which customers may round up their total to the nearest dollar, helped purchase the equipment.
The foundation is also the beneficiary of a charitable sales promotion in which Firehouse of America will donate 0.13 percent of all gross sales with a minimum donation of $1 million through Dec. 31.
Moultrie Fire Department was awarded three self-contained breathing apparatuses valued at $21,544 to replace older, heavier models to protect fire personnel in situations with poor air quality.
“We are incredibly grateful for this grant from the foundation,” Moultrie Fire Department Fire Investigator Robin Lawson said. “Not only does it enable us to replace outdated and obsolete gear, but the new equipment is ergonomically designed for comfort, reducing fatigue on our firefighters. It is also designed with features that allow for easier and more complete cleanup and contamination, adding a layer of protection for our firefighters by reducing their exposure to toxins, which in turn reduces risk of cancer.”
Studies from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health concluded firefighters have a 9 percent increase in cancer diagnoses and a 14 percent increase in cancer-related deaths compared to the general population.
The Moultrie Police Department received nine ballistic protective vests and seven entry ballistic protective vests with ballistic plates valued at $29,795 to protect officers in the line of duty in emergency situations.
Americus Fire & Emergency Services received two automated external defibrillators valued at $2,918, and the Fitzgerald Fire Department received nine of the defibrillators valued at $10,085. The devices will assist the departments in providing medical assistance to individuals suffering from cardiac arrest.
The Hahira Fire Department received a thermal imaging kit valued at $9,028 to detect body heat and hot spots in burning buildings to locate victims.
Randolph County Fire EMA & Rescue received extrication equipment and accessories valued at $25,978 to improve motor vehicle accident rescues with tools that will allow responders to cut through materials and reach victims. The equipment is battery powered and will allow for more flexibility in rural rescue situations.
Terrell County Fire Rescue received 12 sets of turnout gear and 10 pairs of insulated rubber structural boots valued at $23,054 to replace old and damage gear for fire fighter protection.
The local departments will receive their equipment at the Firehouse Subs restaurant at 1001 W. Eighth St. in Tifton. For more information about the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, visit www.FirehouseSubsFoundation.org.