On Friday, the Spalding County Fire Department accepted the donation of two all-terrain vehicles along with a trailer for transportation of equipment or a stretcher worth more than $14,800. The donation, from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, comes from donations at the restaurants including the sales of the 5-gallon pickle buckets and Maltese cross pins.
Local store owner Mike Criswell said this is third donation he has been able to help facilitate through his stores. “It makes me proud to be a part of this company,” he said.
The previous donations included Gator ATV for Griffin Fire-Rescue and a drug dog, training and a kennel in Henry County, where he also has a franchise location. “When I asked, they didn’t bat an eye,” Criswell said of the Foundation.
County Commissioner Chipper Gardner, also a former fire chief, thanked Foundation specialist Eric Sorenson, son of one of the Firehouse Subs founders. “I know how much this is needed. This will be a blessing.”
The donated vehicles, two yellow E-Z Go all terrain carts, will increase the department’s rescue capability in response to off-road incidents and the transportation of victims in remote areas. The smaller vehicles can go where fire trucks can’t and where first responders used have to carry equipment in and out on foot.
Battalion Chief Jamie Clark thanked the Foundation on behalf of the Fire Department. “We are extremely grateful. This was one the easiest grants we have applied for.”
Sorenson said, “you know why? Because it was written by fire fighters.”
Since 2005, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has donated more then $400,000 to public safety agencies in Georgia, Sorenson said, The Foundation was started in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and since then has given more than $4 million in funding, equipment and educational opportunities to first responders, Sorenson said.