Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation grant to enhance nighttime response in Athens

By  | January 9, 2018 | Filed under: News

ATHENS-When a deadly EF5 tornado struck Athens and Limestone County in the evening hours of April 27, 2011, Athens Fire and Rescue relied on hand held flashlights for search and rescue because debris prevented crews from driving fire trucks into some of the damaged areas.


In one instance, the Engine 3 crew hand carried extrication equipment into a field on U.S. 31 to recover a body from a vehicle. Flashlights were their only source of lighting.


A grant approved by the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation will enhance Athens Fire and Rescue’s ability to respond to night emergencies. The Foundation recently notified Athens Fire and Rescue it is receiving a $5,225 grant to purchase a portable lighting system.


The system is an inflatable tower with 100W metal Halide bulb and generator. According to the manufacturer, Prism Lighting Services, LLC, one person can set up the system in less than three minutes. The light will illuminate areas up to 17,000 square feet.


Athens Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief David Andrews said Athens Fire will make the portable lighting system available to other first response agencies in Limestone County upon request. That includes Athens Police, the 13 volunteer fire departments, Limestone County Sheriff’s Department, Limestone County Rescue Squad and Athens EMS. Andrews said first responders will utilize the portable lighting system for fire scenes, search and rescue, incident command, Hazmat, crime scenes, traffic accidents, crowd control at large events and other situations that arise where responders need light.


“This allows us to be more portable, especially at scenes we cannot reach by fire truck. Even at scenes we can access by truck, this portable system will allow us to provide light without tying up a truck, freeing that vehicle to respond to another emergency,” said Athens Fire and Rescue Chief Bryan Thornton.


With this funding, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has invested over $38,000 in Athens with grants to Athens Fire and Rescue and the Athens Police Department.


“Firehouse Subs first invested in Athens by opening a restaurant in our city, and since that time, its Foundation has continued to invest in our city through these grants that provide our first responders with tools they use to protect our citizens,” said Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks. “Public safety is the number one attribute of any community, and I commend the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation for supporting our efforts to keep Athens a safe city.”


In 2005, the Firehouse Subs founders established 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 granted more than $31.5 million to hometown heroes in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, including more than $1.7 million in Alabama.

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