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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Firehouse Subs donates gear to police and fire departments at Annandale event

Firehouse Subs founder Robin Sorenson (left) with firefighters and police officers at Pinecrest Plaza in Annandale.

Firefighters and police officers from Arlington and Falls Church gathered at Firehouse Subs in Pinecrest Plaza, Annandale, April 30 to accept a donation of equipment worth more than $39,000 from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

The foundation donated two explosive ordnance disposal tactical protective suits worth more than $19,700 to the Arlington County Fire Department and an Avatar II search and rescue robot worth more than $19,300 to the City of Falls Church Police Department.

The Avatar robot with (left to right) Firehouse Subs employee Khalid Kandah, Falls Church Police officer Alex Cruzvergara, and franchisee Pamela Pitkin.

The robot will allow law enforcement to remotely inspect dangerous situations and gather video and audio intelligence while keeping personnel safe. The donated suits will help protect the department’s bomb technicians and canine handlers in explosive-related situations.

The Firehouse Subs foundation has donated more than $6.3 million to first responders and public safety entities across the nation since it was established in 2005, said Robin Sorenson, who founded Firehouse Subs in 1994 in Jacksonville, Fla., with his brother Chris and serves as president of the foundation.

Both of them, and their father, were firefighters, and the restaurants have a firefighting theme, with uniforms, hats, and axes on the wall and items like the “hook and ladder sub” on the menu. 

Most of the foundation’s funding comes from customer donations, with the balance from employees and franchisees. The company has 613 franchise-run restaurants in 35 states and Puerto Rico and plans to add 140 more this year. There are 15 in Northern Virginia.

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