Firehouse Subs helps strengthen community safety

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Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation recently awarded the Utah County Sheriff’s Department with a much-needed $10,300 grant.

Sargent Matthew Higley introduces the newest member of their K-9 team, Meatball, at Firehouse Subs in Orem on Wednesday. (Photo by Chris Bunker)
Sargent Matthew Higley introduces the newest member of their K-9 team, Meatball, at Firehouse Subs in Orem on Wednesday. (Photo by Chris Bunker)

Early Wednesday, March 6, members of the media and an assortment of public safety officials gathered at Firehouse Subs of Orem, who was recognized for its generous philanthropic effort.

The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was set up to assist efforts among local law enforcement and public safety officials so they can further protect citizens. The Firehouse Subs restaurant chain acquires customer donations, which they give back to the community through local public safety efforts.

Through the donations of the foundation, Will Page, the Firehouse Subs Orem store owner, headed up a specific effort to purchase a new dog to add to the local K9 unit in Utah county. The dog was a much needed asset to the county police force.

The Firehouse Subs foundation raises money several different ways. First, workers will ask customers to “round up” to the nearest dollar as an extra donation toward the foundation. Also, each individual franchise can recycle large pickle bins for sale to customers and use that money toward foundation efforts. These small actions end up building up a large sum of money that can help local public safety officials.

Utah is one of the foundation’s best fundraising states in the country.

Robin Sorensen, co-founder of Firehouse Subs, spent many years as a fireman. He later decided that he wanted to enter the food business but still wanted to contribute to the community. It was then that the idea of a public safety foundation was born.

“We started for one reason — to make an impact in the community,” Sorensen said.

Robin Peters, executive director of the foundation, said the philanthropic opportunities are what make the company so great. “Every time we are able to go into the community and give back … it’s such a great experience.”

Page explained the great deal his store was able to make with the Utah County Sheriff’s Department. The efforts of the franchise allowed the Sheriff’s department to purchase a police dog worth around $10,500.

During the award meeting, Page announced, “We’ve decided that today we will match any donation up to $1,000.”

Lt. Mike Brower of the Utah County Sheriff’s Department said, “We’re very humbled for this opportunity. We’ve been down a dog for several years.”

A demonstration of training efforts and what the police dogs do closed out the event. Firehouse Subs continues to donate to public safety sectors across 30 states.

Peters said it’s about saying thank you. It’s about taking little steps to help the people who sacrifice their lives for every citizen in the community.

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