Firehouse Subs funds heart devices to rescue squads

While in the Firehouse Subs location at Strawbridge Marketplace, a Virginia Beach firefighter said “thank you.” Franchisee Bob Bates said the gesture made him realize his customers were helping make a real difference.

“It makes you want to do more,” he said.

The firefighter was referring to the fact that the sub shop funded four LUCAS, Lund University Cardiac Arrest System, devices for the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad, including a recent grant to purchase two for the Princess Anne Courthouse Volunteer Rescue Squad ambulances. The portable devices provide automated, consistent chest compressions during CPR.

That makes a total of $53,265 donated by the Strawbridge Firehouse Subs through the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. Empty pickle buckets are sold for $2 each, and customers are always asked if they’d like to round up their bill to the nearest dollar, Bates said. The difference goes to the foundation.

“You’d be surprised how that adds up,” he said, adding that his patrons are “extremely generous.”

Bates and his wife moved to the area from the Midwest about five years ago. She loves the beach, and “we wanted out of the cold,” he said. He went from the corporate banking world, to the restaurant industry and opened a Firehouse Subs a little more than three years ago.

Volunteer rescue squad chief Chris Daly said the life-saving units allow them to provide the best possible patient care to the community.

“Our success rate for full cardiac arrest conversions has dramatically increased,” he said.

Two large signs depicting the checks with the donated amounts hang in the Strawbridge shop for all to see. Customers like to know their contributions are helping the local community, Bates said.


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