CHICAGO – Local Firehouse Subs® franchisees have big plans for Chicago with a development plan for more than 75 new Firehouse Subs restaurants in the Chicago area. But long before the first restaurant opens in downtown Chicago this summer, their non-profit organization, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation®, is ensuring Chicago first responders are better equipped to protect and save lives throughout their communities.

Continuing its mission of supporting local heroes, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation is awarding $190,000 worth of equipment to nine Chicago public safety organizations during a press conference at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. The press conference takes place at the Robert J. Quinn Fire Academy located at 558 W. DeKoven St., Chicago, IL 60607.

In 2005, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was created with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to first responders and public safety organizations. Many first responders make do with older equipment and have limited or no access to needed resources, but the Foundation has given $13 million to hometown heroes in 43 states and Puerto Rico, benefiting more than 1,000 public safety organizations in communities across the nation. In the state of Illinois, more than $417,000 has been donated since 2012, and in almost all instances, the awarded tools would otherwise be unavailable.

“These brave men and women dedicate their lives to protecting ours, and it’s a complete privilege to provide them with the tools needed to help ensure their safety as well as ours,” said Robin Sorensen, Firehouse Subs Co-founder and Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Board President. “As former firefighters, my brother and I saw firsthand how critical it is for first responders to have the training and tools they need to save lives. We’re honored to improve the lifesaving capabilities of Chicago’s firefighters and police officers. The Foundation is at the heart of Firehouse Subs, and we believe every donation is a heroic act.”

Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago said, “Fire and police departments across this nation are all doing more with less and this affects all of us regardless of size. The hard work of Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation in securing these assets will assist not only department members in performing their jobs, but ultimately will help the people we are sworn to serve. On behalf of all the recipient departments I say thank you!”

The following nine departments are receiving awarded equipment, which will be on display and demonstrated at the press conference. Event attendees include representatives from each department, Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Executive Director and former Chicago Police Chief Phil Cline, city officials Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Jose Santiago and Chicago Fire Deputy Fire Commissioner for Operations John McNicholas, Firehouse Subs Co-founder and Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Board President Robin Sorensen, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Executive Director Robin Peters, and Firehouse Subs Chief Executive Officer Don Fox, to name a few. Additional city officials have been invited and are expected to be in attendance.

•             Chicago Fire Department receives two off-road ambulance vehicles worth more than $55,800.

•             Chicago Police Department 17th District receives two automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) worth more than $2,000.

•             Chicago Police Memorial Foundation receives 41 bulletproof vests worth more than $20,000.

•             Mokena Fire Protection District receives an all-terrain vehicle worth more than $16,700.

•             Waukegan Fire Protection District receives eight sets of firefighting turnout gear worth more than $19,600.

•             Lemont Fire Protection District receives an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) worth more than $19,800.

•             Frankfort Fire Protection District receives an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) worth more than $14,600.

•             Tri-State Fire Protection District receives a water rescue boat worth more than $19,900.

•             Mount Prospect Fire Department receives 27 automatic external defibrillator (AEDs) worth more than $21,000.

To raise money for the Foundation, Firehouse Subs restaurants participate in a number of fundraising efforts. Each restaurant recycles leftover, five-gallon pickle buckets and sells them to guests for $2. Donation canisters on register counters collect spare change, while the Round Up Program allows guests to “round up” their bill to the nearest dollar. Grant allocations are made possible thanks to the overwhelming support of Firehouse Subs restaurants and generous donors.