In honor of International Firefighters’ Day on May 4, we are recognizing some of our amazing active and volunteer firefighter families who are an integral part of the Firehouse Subs system, a restaurant brand founded by former firefighting brothers Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen. This is part 1 of 5.

Franchisee and volunteer firefighter Bob Gregg owns and operates two Firehouse Subs restaurants with his wife Diane. They opened their first restaurant with Firehouse Subs in 2014 in Mentor, OH and their second in Broadman, OH in 2019. See below to learn what being a firefighter means to him!

What is the name of the department you work for and how long have you served the organization?

The Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department. I joined in 1978 and have been there ever since. I had a full-time job with the power company in town so a volunteer position was the perfect fit. The original pay for a volunteer was $1 per year and many of us would donate that back to the department.

What or who inspired you to become a firefighter? 

A close friend of mine who was a firefighter asked me to join the local fire department because he thought I would be a good fit. He is also the one who introduced me to my wife Diane and we’ve been together for 43 years now. 

What’s your favorite part about being a firefighter? 

The sense of accomplishment and the feeling of gratitude when helping others as well as the comradery. Your fellow firefighters become your second family after putting your life on the line for each other.  

What is your biggest accomplishment as a firefighter? 

I was president of the Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department Association for several years and helped move the department forward during my terms. I was also voted Firefighter of the Year on two different occasions.

What are some words of advice or encouragement for future firefighters?

It’s a wonderful vocation and is truly rewarding. It will change your life for the better.

What is one thing that the general public is not aware of about being a first responder, firefighter, etc.?

To quote an article written by Mark Moorhead in 1992 “It is often said “Firefighting gets in your blood.” That’s not true. If you become one of us, it gets in your heart.”

What’s your favorite part about being a Firehouse Subs franchisee?

I love being able to carry on the firefighting heritage in our restaurants and provide a unique heartfelt product that makes our guests smile.

How did you hear about Firehouse Subs?

A friend of ours who is an area representative called my wife who has more than 20 years of franchising experience and said we would be a great fit to be a franchisee. We hadn’t heard of Firehouse Subs before but as soon as we visited one, we were impressed by the food and made the decision to pursue the opportunity.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?

I jokingly say to myself sometimes, “I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow-up.”

What’s your favorite Firehouse Sub? 

New York Steamer with jalapenos