MOULTRIE, Ga.—Two Colquitt County police departments received “much-needed” grants from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Wednesday.
Moultrie and Doerun police departments received grants of $16,300 and $15,976, respectively, at Firehouse Subs’ North Veterans Parkway location.
The MPD used its grant to purchase a utility terrain vehicle with accessories to “provide lifesaving assistance in emergencies, especially in areas regular cars cannot travel,” a press release from Firehouse Subs said.
This mainly entails off-road areas and paths smaller than police cruisers can travel. MPD Lt. Rocky Hancock said this’ll be a great help to the department.
“They’ve gone above and beyond in actually assisting us with the Ranger you see here,” he said.
Grants are given on a quarterly basis each year. To apply, an organization must give a brief history, an explanation on how the grant will benefit it, a vendor equipment quote/bid, recent financial information and an equipment inventory.
From there, the board of directors chooses to approve it or not. Requests for $50,000 or more are not accepted and it has a list of items unaccepted as well (i.e. drones, use of force equipment, body cameras, etc.).
Public safety organizations can only apply once per quarter.
This is the second time the MPD has received a grant from Firehouse Subs. Last year, it received new ballistic vests for its officers, a total of more than $28,000.
Hancock was the liaison between the MPD and Firehouse Subs. He said the application process was a lot easier this time around.
“I already knew what was going on, what was happening and what they needed to make the process successful,” he said.
For Doerun, it was a first, said Police Chief Frank Pierce. It used the $15,976 to purchase seven automated external defibrillators, a public access bleeding control kit and other first aid equipment.
“It takes sometimes 25 minutes or more for the ambulance service to make it to Doerun,” he said. “We just felt like this would be a vital life-saving equipment to use to help save lives.”
According to Pierce, Doerun has lost a few residents who suffered heart attacks or other heart-related conditions because the DPD lacked equipment like this. He himself has performed CPR in situations where an AED would’ve been a better solution.
“They lost their lives [and] I did not have access to an AED,” Pierce said. “With access to an AED, I’m hoping that now if we have something like that, we could save lives.”
The DPD originally looked at buying one AED for each officer to share and carry with them on-duty. Now, it’ll place one AED in each patrol car — all five — and keep a mounted one in city hall.
Pierce said it felt great to fulfill the department’s needs.
“There’s no way we could’ve gotten the amount of the equipment that we got without the Firehouse Sub foundation,” he said.
They plan to apply for the grant next year to get new ballistic vests for DPD officers since the department’s current ones are up in age.
The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation is funded by customers, or rather, the community.Through its Round Up program, where customers can donate by rounding up to the nearest dollar, and the sale of $3 recycled pickle buckets, Firehouse Subs gives back to public safety organizations.
Throughout October, which is First Responders Month, the foundation’s goal is to raise $1 million through $1, $5 and $25 donations in each restaurant. Donation canisters are used as well.
“The monies that Firehouse Subs receives comes right back to our community and we’re extremely grateful for that,” Hancock said.