The fast casual known for its hearty and flavorful food, Firehouse Subs has just hit the 1,000 store milestone with its latest opening in Rowland Heights, California. The chain is in 44 states in the US, along with Puerto Rico and Canada.
"Building a brand of 1,000 units is not a common feat in our industry and Firehouse Subs is thrilled to join the less than 40 brands who have this distinction," said Don Fox, chief executive officer at Firehouse of America, LLC in a press release.
Giving Back to the Community is Part of the Brand’s DNA
The restaurant chain started 22 years ago by two former firefighters. Besides serving an array of meaty sandwiches, the chain supports a cause. With first responder roots, FHS has a mission to help hometown heroes with its Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, which is “dedicated to improving the life-saving capabilities and the lives of local heroes and their communities.”
So it’s fitting that the brand would celebrate its major milestone with a charitable program. FHS is donating $1 million to support the 1,000 Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Gift Campaign, a program through the chain’s foundation. The co-owners will award 1,000 AEDS to police departments across the country. According to research by the University of Pennsylvania, only 30% of the country’s police stations have vehicles equipped with these life-saving instruments. An AED can make a major impact in an emergency situation. According to the American Heart Association, the use of an AED within three to five minutes after a victim’s heart has stopped improves their chance of survival by a whopping 70%.
With that being said, FHS decided to do its part so that more AEDs are available.
"There are endless untold stories of lives saved because an AED was in the right place at the right time, but also just as many lives have been lost because these devices are not readily available," said Chris and Robin Sorensen, founders of Firehouse Subs and Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation in a press release. "Each of the 1,000 Firehouse Subs restaurants will have the opportunity to grant an AED to the police department of choice in that area. Through this initiative, we hope to better equip police officers and save even more lives in the process."
Last year, the chain gave over 230 AEDS to organizations without them.
Besides participating in major donations (like the $20 million given by the brand last year,) FHS started a blog in honor of the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. It showcases heroes and positive news stories. “Contrary to what you might think from watching the nightly news or scrolling through social media, the world is full of good news and people doing amazing things. Heroes. The stranger who shovels your driveway before you even wake up. The teacher who stays after school to provide extra help to a struggling student. Firefighters, police officers, EMS, the armed forces. You,” according to the Herofuel.co blog.