October 14, 2020 4:28 P.M.Firehouse Subs is celebrating its long-awaited arrival in Sarnia this week by giving back to the local community.
On Wednesday, the restaurant chain presented a check for $ 12,211 to Sarnia Fire and Rescue as part of its Public Safety Foundation. The ministry applied for a grant a few months ago.
Fire Chief Brian Arnold said he was extremely grateful, adding that the funds would be used to purchase motorized air-purifying respirators.
“It basically comes with a space age helmet with a breathing tube that comes off and goes into a filtration system,” Arnold said. “So rather than wearing a heavy, bulky self-contained breathing apparatus, they can put it on much lighter and allow them to do their jobs with less interruption, being able to stay for hours at a time. This is equipment that we would not otherwise be able to buy now, we will have to budget for it. Having this up front is great additional protection for our firefighters.
It is the first Firehouse Subs restaurant for franchisees Javed Qadree and his wife Helia Goodarzi.
Qadree, who is a first responder in Mississauga, said he is proud to support those on the front lines.
“We are very proud to be a part of this city and bring business here,” Qadree said. “We have hired over 30 employees and it is changing the lives of 30 families. We are proud to support our first responders, they are doing a lot for our community, especially during COVID.
Qadree admits construction has been a challenge during the pandemic.
“The owner was extremely cooperative and helpful with us. We spent over three months on construction, especially during COVID it wasn’t easy. There were a lot of restrictions in place, but we managed to come out stronger. The building is beautiful and we are ready.
Firehouse Subs officially opens Thursday at the former RBC Bank location on London Road.
The cost of the renovations is estimated at around $ 450,000.
There are currently 27 Firehouse Subs restaurants owned and operated by local franchisees across Ontario.
Firehouse Subs was founded by brothers Chris and Robin Sorensen, two former firefighters in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1994.
Since 2005, the company’s Public Safety Foundation has donated more than $ 44 million, in the form of rescue equipment, to first responders in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.