The Richmond Hill Fire Department officially took ownership Monday afternoon of two pieces of battery-powered extrication equipment and five automated external defibrillators.
The equipment, worth $33,084, was donated by the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, and Richmond Hill Fire Chief Ralph Catlett praised the Foundation.
"This is a great day," he said. "I am very thankful for Firehouse Subs and their great program. Even if they didn't have a great program, they've been great in this community, and they're very generous. I've never walked into a Firehouse Subs restaurant and asked for anything that they didn't try to help us with."
Catlett said RHFD first responders have already used the new jaws equipment in a vehicle accident.
A Firehouse Subs press release said the extrication equipment in use by RHFD now is more than 20 years old. The equipment allows firefighters to cut through metal and other materials used in making vehicles to reach victims of traffic accidents.
The AEDs will help RHFD give medical help when someone has a heart attack. Catlett said he wants one AED on every fire truck and in each city building in Richmond Hill.
Each Firehouse Sub restaurant, including the one in Richmond Hill franchised by Chad Weaver, recycles leftover pickle buckets and sells them for a $2 donation to the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, which has granted more than $35 million to public safety departments in 47 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. More than $2.3 million has been given back to public safety agencies in Georgia, according to Nancy Palmer, who is outreach coordinator for the foundation.
Firehouse Subs also have a round-up program, where customers can round up their bill to the nearest dollar, with the money going to the foundation.
Palmer said the majority of the foundation's funds come from restaurants through customer donations.
The restaurant chain's area representative said the company feels strongly about giving back to local public safety agencies such as RHFD.
"What you guys do everyday, we thank you so much," Bryan Paquin said. "You guys are running in, we're all running out. We're glad to be able to help out with little things like this."