The Brookhaven Fire Department was recently awarded a $16,355 grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, which makes it the largest single contribution made to the department by a business operating in the borough.
The fire department used the funds to purchase two hi-tech, color thermal imaging cameras, capable of locating hot spots, ventilation points, trapped people and more.
“We are so grateful for this generous grant that helped us purchase these cameras,” said Brookhaven Fire Chief Rob Montella. “It was time for us to replace our old cameras, which were 10 years old and outdated, so this could not have come at a better time. We will now be able to see much better, which will help us do our jobs more efficiently”
Montella said ever since Firehouse Subs moved to the new Shoppes at Brookhaven Shopping Center over the summer, the owners have very generous to the fire department.
Montella pointed to the large graphic of Brookhaven Fire Company #52 which hangs on the wall, as well as several pieces of equipment donated to the restaurant from the department.
The eatery’s area representative, Rob Lowe, and store owners Mark and Rick Lohkamp, made the presentation of the cameras to Montella, fire company President Jon Grant, and nearly the entire department.
“Our guys wanted to be here to show our gratitude for this wonderful gift,” Montella said. “We are very thankful.”
Lowe said the foundation was established in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, when Firehouse Subs founders Chris and Robin Sorensen provided food to first responders and survivors.
Since 2005, the foundation has provided $29.5 million to deserving recipients in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.
To help fund the foundation, every restaurant in its chain recycles five gallon pickle containers and sells them to guests for $2 each. In addition there are donation canisters on the counters and a “round up” program where the bill is rounded to the nearest dollar and the change donated.
Montella said he completed an application and submitted it to Lowe. The applications were narrowed down and forwarded to corporate for a final decision.
The Lohkamps said they like the community and glad to help the borough’s fire company.
“We are so proud to be able to help the fire company and this community,” Rick said. “People here have been very welcoming and we are happy to be here in Brookhaven.”