IDAHO FALLS — Firefighters with Central Fire District in Jefferson County are the proud recipients of a $19,000 grant.
It was recently awarded through Firehouse Subs’ Public Safety Foundation and on Tuesday, the fire crew met at the Idaho Falls restaurant to be recognized for the honor.
Chief Carl Anderson tells EastIdahoNews.com the grant has allowed them to purchase 65 new helmets for all the firefighters.
“Anybody on a budget knows that when items need to be replaced, you don’t replace everything all at once. We had planned on replacing 10 or 12 helmets at a time. With this grant, we were able to replace all of our firefighter’s helmets. It’s a great morale boost for the firefighters,” Anderson says.
The new helmets have been used in action several times. Anderson says they provide greater protection to firefighters than the previous helmet they were using.
The grant also frees up the department’s budget to use toward other lifesaving equipment.
With all the growth in Jefferson County, Central Fire District is seeing a lot of new fire activity and that always increases safety concerns for the firefighters.
“As we get busier, we have to worry about safety as much or even more, so this (helmet purchase) is a great safety item,” Anderson says.
Randy Judd, an area representative for Firehouse Subs, says the foundation’s board of directors evaluates grant applicants and awards funding based on need.
“We look for those who show the most need and where the franchisees are tied to the community as well,” says Judd.
The foundation awards grants to fire departments and other agencies across the country every quarter. A percentage of the restaurant’s sales go toward the foundation. Customers can also donate by rounding up to the nearest dollar with the purchase of a menu item or put cash in the dropbox by the cash register. Proceeds from the sale of pickle buckets inside the restaurant go directly to the foundation as well.
“All the money goes into a central pot and then it’s divvied up accordingly. We’ve received a lot more in Idaho than we’ve ever given,” Judd says.
More than $181,000 has been awarded to agencies across the state since the restaurant’s inception in Idaho, Judd says.
The Idaho Falls location, which opened in February, is the restaurant’s fifth location in the Gem State. Since they opened five months ago, owner Chris Morris says the response has been fantastic.
“We’ve had a lot of strong support from the community. Before we opened, it was an unknown. The Firehouse Subs restaurant concept is still fairly new to the area, but it’s been great,” says Morris.
Morris says the grant donation to Central Fire District would not be possible without the support of the community, and he is grateful for people’s generosity.
“We truly thank Firehouse Subs for this grant. It was very very much appreciated,” Anderson says.
Firehouse Subs is located at 435 South Utah Ave. It is open seven days a week from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.