Firehouse Subs Foundation Donates Life-Saving Equipment to Irmo Fire District
The Irmo Fire District received new equipment to help detect deadly gases.
Firefighters with the Irmo Fire District now have some updated equipment to help detect carbon monoxide and other deadly gases thanks to a donation from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.
On Tuesday, firefighters, local Firehouse Subs franchisees, foundation members and other guests gathered at Firehouse Subs in Irmo to celebrate the donation worth more than $6,000.
"Today is about you ... We've found increasingly as we've interacted with public safety [personnel] that there's not a single department that doesn't need [some help]," said Charles Divita, a local Firehouse Subs franchisee. "We've found that the donations we collect, the things that we're able to do .... makes all the difference in the world to somebody's life."
"Some day, somewhere somebody's life is going to be spared because of what's on this table [donated equipment]."
The department received two MSA Altair 5 Air Monitors, one MSA Altair 5 Galaxy Calibration System, one HCN Calibration Gas and one Mixed Calibration Gas.
The donated equipment is used to detect deadly gases such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide and helps firefighters make sure they're breathing safe air.
The equipment provides quicker and more accurate results for firefighters.
During Tuesday's ceremony, Capt. Randy Arant showed the crowd how the new equipment compares to the old monitors. The simulation included Arant setting some paper on fire inside a small trash can.
Arant, who researched and recommended the purchase of the new equipment to Irmo Fire Chief Mike Sonefeld, said the devices save both the public and firefighters lives against carbon monoxide — a colorless and odorless gas.
Arant said even a small fire in a trash can puts out a potentially deadly amount of carbon monoxide. Even though the fire is out, it doesn't mean the air is fine to breathe.
The demonstration showed that the monitor detected more carbon monoxide gases after the fire was extinguished than when the fire was burning.
Chief Sonefeld said the donation of the much-needed equipment came right on time.
Sonefeld said firefighters used the equipment as recently as July 19 when they responded to call in Irmo.
He said as soon as firefighters were within feet of the door of a home on Chipwood Court, the detecter alerted them to the carbon monoxide gas.
Sonefeld said he was thankful for Firehouse Subs for stepping in to donate the equipment that some fire departments are not always able to purchase because of its cost.
"There's so many things that can make the fire department better, all of which is tied around a lot of money because it's technology based," Sonefeld said. "It's just so hard to get ahead of that curve."
"I want the best equipment to help our guys. Sometimes it's so far out of reach. [To have] organizations like the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation that's able to fill that gap is unbelievable."
In 2005, Firehouse Subs created the non-profit, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, with the mission to provide funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to aid first-responders, according to a release.
The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has made 52 donations worth more than $550,000 in South Carolina.
For more information on Firehouse Subs, visit firehousesubs.com.