Westover gets gear from Firehouse Subs

Published 5:26 pm Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Franchisee Claudia Porter, Westover Fire Chief Kelly Morris, Assistant Fire Marshall Micah Woodley, Mayor Mark McLaughlin and Firehouse Subs Area Representative David Conklin stand with half of the turnout gear donated to the Westover Fire Department June 19. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)


WESTOVER – Westover City Fire Department received more than $19,700 of fire equipment from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation June 19.

The foundation donated 10 full sets of turnout gear, which cost more than $1,900 apiece, according to Mayor Mark McLaughlin. The gear consists of coats, helmets, pants, boots and “everything a firefighter needs for protection,” McLaughlin said.

The presentation took place at the Brook Highland Firehouse Subs off U.S. 280 in North Shelby, a restaurant franchised by John and Claudia Porter.

According to Claudia Porter, Firehouse Subs customers fund the foundation by purchasing empty pickle jars, purchasing medallions and giving to the donation boxes found in Firehouse Subs restaurants.

McLaughlin said the Westover Fire Department, a career and volunteer department founded in 2007, has grown significantly.

“We had 10 sets of turnout gear 10 years ago, but we have a lot more firefighters now. We were having to piecemeal gear together,” he said. “This is a huge amount of help. Now we have 20 complete sets.”

McLaughlin called the donation a “major contribution” to the fire department.

“Now we can put our firefighters in first-class equipment,” he said.

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation specialist Eric Sorensen is the son of former firefighter Chris Sorenson who, with his brother, started Firehouse Subs.

“I’m very familiar with the sacrifice firefighters have to make,” Sorensen said.

According to Sorensen, the foundation has donated more than $4 million in 300 communities across the United States.

“The money stays in the community,” Sorensen said. “It’s about being more than just a sandwich shop.”