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Public safer thanks to Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation

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BARTOW, Fla. — The public is safer thanks to a grant Polk County Fire Rescue received from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. The foundation awarded grant funding for Polk County Fire Rescue to purchase an eDRAULIC Hurst Jaws of Life. The eDRAULIC Hurst Jaws of Life is a set of life-saving, battery-powered tools that doesn’t need hoses or additional power units when freeing trapped occupants in vehicles.

“We became firefighters because we want to help people,” said Polk County Fire Rescue’s Captain Todd Tanner. “Having tools like this help us protect or save those who need our assistance.

The engine the eDRAULIC Hurst Jaws of Life will go on currently does not have extrication equipment on it. Early last year, it was the first engine on scene of a bad motor vehicle crash, where a passenger vehicle had collided with a tree. The vehicle then caught on fire while someone was trapped inside. The crews on scene were able to control the fire, but had to wait for the arrival of another fire engine that was equipped with the needed extrication equipment.

“We plan to equip all of our fire engines with extrication equipment,” said Fire Chief Tony Stravino. “This will improve our rescue capabilities of patients who are entrapped, but finding the funds is difficult.”

An eDRAULIC Hurst Jaws of Life set is approximately $30,000. Polk Fire Rescue currently has 33 engines. “The grant funding we’ve received from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation is helpful, Chief Stravino added.

This equipment can also be used to gain emergency access to locked structures when traditional methods will not work. Some examples of this include prying through burglar bars and opening security doors during fires.

In 2005, Firehouse Subs co-founders created the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment, and educational opportunities to first-responders and public safety organizations. Through the non-profit 501(c)(3), Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has given more than $24 million to hometown heroes in 46 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada, including more than $4 million in Florida.