The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation presented an advanced life support patient simulator to the Elizabeth Fire Protection District on Aug. 19.
At a brief ceremony at the Firehouse Subs Restaurant on Twenty Mile Road in Parker, Elizabeth Fire District EMS Coordinator Sean Mackall demonstrated the many features of the manikin simulator to Firehouse Subs franchisee Cory Cummings and his family, along with restaurant employees and guests.
“We are pretty excited to have this guy available,” Mackall said. “These are skills we don’t use every day, so it is good to have something for our crews to train on.”
The $8,000, interactive manikin can simulate multiple symptoms, allowing EMS crews the hands-on experience typically available in the field without the pressure of an actual emergency. It can be pre-programmed or remotely controlled by an instructor who can respond to questions through a speaker in the unit’s chest.
“It’s a little creepy at first when this guy talks to you,” Mackall said.
The simulator was purchased through a grant made available by the restaurant chain’s Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. Each quarter, the foundation receives nearly 400 requests for equipment grants from first responders around the country and is typically able to award 50 to 70 grants per quarter, which amounts to around $4 million of grants per year.
Sixty percent of funding comes from Firehouse customers who drop spare change into donation canisters at restaurants; participate in “Round Up,” which rounds credit card and cash purchases to the nearest dollar; and through the purchases of recycled five-gallon pickle buckets. The remaining 40 percent of funding for grants comes through general donations.
According to Kara Gerczynski, Elizabeth fire marshal and public information officer, the $8,000 donated by the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation for the manikin was not something the department would have been able to include in its budget.
The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3). The organization provides funding for equipment and education for first responders such as fire departments, police departments and other public-safety organizations. Since its inception in 2005, the foundation has donated more than $200,000 in Colorado and around $14 million throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
Firehouse Subs was founded by brothers Chris and Robin Sorensen and is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. The company operates more than 900 restaurants in 43 states.