Saturday, March 16, 2013
The Belvedere Volunteer Fire Department received quite the donation from Firehouse Subs.
The BVFD received a Bull-Ex Bullseye Laser-Driven Fire Extinguisher, which is worth more than $16,200. The donation was made possible through the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, which was created in 2005. The firefighters showed off the new piece of technology through a demonstration at the Firehouse Subs on 1237 Knox Ave. N.
"What this system allows us to do is to take it into homes and schools, private and public sector business in our fire district and teach employees and homeowners the proper way to use a fire extinguisher," said Sgt. Shane Fields of the training division at the Belvedere Fire Department. "What we find a lot of times is that people have heard of a fire extinguisher and know where to get one, but don't know how to use it or what to look for when they buy it."
The foundation was founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Since then, the company has donated $5.7 million to first responders and public safety organizations, with the total in South Carolina sitting at $612,800, according to Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation development manager Meghan Bender.
"We, as a board through Firehouse, grant requests like the one we received from the folks at the Belvedere Volunteer Fire Department," Lee Bowers, district manager for Firehouse Subs, said. "We are able to allocate funds for them to be able to get equipment for training, or hands-on equipment they can use in the field, and we raise money through donations and by selling pickles at $2 a piece. During October, we have a mobile drive and it's just a way for us, as a restaurant, to do more than sell sandwiches."
The educational factor is one that is especially important when using the system, according to Fields.
"We plan to educate the public on what to look for, how to use it and how to correctly use this system because this is a pretty direct representation on how to correctly use a fire extinguisher," he said. "Anyone between small children to grown adults will be able to use this. It's a great tool for our department to have to teach firemen and our new firemen. It'll also allow us to spread as much knowledge as we can to the public. We take a lot of pride in our public education and private education through Belvedere Fire Department and this is just one more really good tool we're going to be able to use."