1,000 AEDs for 1,000 restaurants: Firehouse Subs celebrates milestone opening with $1 million donation for Life-Saving initiative

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In 1994, brothers Chris and Robin Sorensen opened the doors of the first Firehouse Subs restaurant in their hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. Nearly 22 years later, the fast casual chain known for its hot subs and hearty portions celebrates the opening of the 1,000th restaurant located in Rowland Heights, California. What began as the dream of two former firefighters has grown into an award-winning brand, providing hundreds of independent business owners with the opportunity to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams and serve their communities in 44 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.

"Building a brand of 1,000 units is not a common feat in our industry and Firehouse Subs is thrilled to join the less than 40 brands who have this distinction," said Don Fox, Chief Executive Officer, Firehouse of America, LLC.

In celebration of the 1,000th restaurant, the founders of Firehouse Subs are continuing the brand's commitment to heartfelt service and public safety by donating $1 million to support the 1,000 Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Gift Campaign through the brand's nonprofit, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation®. The Sorensen brothers plan to award 1,000 AEDs to police departments in communities served by Firehouse Subs restaurants across the country. Research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania showed only 30 percent of the nation's police agencies equipped their vehicles with AEDs. Often the first responders to emergencies, police officers are frequently in a position to provide immediate assistance to a sudden cardiac arrest victim. Studies from the American Heart Association show use of an AED within three to five minutes of a victim's heart stopping improves odds of survival by nearly 70 percent.

"There are endless untold stories of lives saved because an AED was in the right place at the right time, but also just as many lives have been lost because these devices are not readily available," said Chris and Robin Sorensen, founders of Firehouse Subs and Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. "Each of the 1,000 Firehouse Subs restaurants will have the opportunity to grant an AED to the police department of choice in that area. Through this initiative, we hope to better equip police officers and save even more lives in the process."

In 2015, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation awarded more than 230 AEDs to public safety entities nationwide, including law enforcement agencies, first responder groups and schools. Since 2005, the Foundation has donated more than $20 million in funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to public safety organizations in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.

About Firehouse Subs
Firehouse Subs® is a fast casual restaurant chain with a passion for Hearty and Flavorful Food, Heartfelt Service and Public Safety. Founded by brothers and former firefighters Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen, Firehouse Subs is a brand built on decades of fire and police service, steaming hot subs piled higher with the highest quality meats and cheeses and its commitment to saving lives through the establishment of the nonprofit, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation®. The founders are the real deal, the food is their creation and the company is built upon a family of franchise operators who share their same passion for serving others. In 2015, Firehouse Subs made its international debut in Canada, with plans to open more than 90 locations in the Ontario market and future plans for further Canada expansion. Also, in 2015, the brand introduced its first digital loyalty rewards program, Firehouse Rewards, which allows guests to earn and redeem points for each visit through a smartphone app. Firehouse Subs is consistently recognized as a leader in the fast casual segment. For the last three years, Firehouse Subs was ranked No. 1 by Technomic's Chain Restaurant Consumers' Choice Awards among fast casual brands in the categories of food quality (2016), service (2015) and atmosphere (2014). Forbes recognized Firehouse Subs in 2015 as a Best Franchise to Buy.

Quick Facts:
44 states, Puerto Rico and Canada
1,000 restaurants
$20+ million donated to public safety organizations
Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla.

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