Troy FD gains thermal cameras
Published 4:00 am Friday, October 16, 2015
Firehouse Subs in Troy granted approximately $16,000 to the Troy Fire Department for the purchase of four thermal energy cameras. These cameras allow firefighters to see anyone remaining in a burning building or home.
“When you go into a house fire, it’s completely black, and you can’t see anything,” said Troy Fire Chief Thomas Outlaw. “You can take this camera and locate anyone in the building. In the past you would just have to crawl around and find them. This makes us able to do a quicker rescue.”
Firehouse Subs was founded in 1994 by two firefighters. After helping feed first-responders to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the founders saw an opportunity to use their business to benefit organizations in need.
“They knew that this was going to be a game changer, and they had to be involved in someway,” said David Conklin, area representative for Firehouse Subs.
According to Conklin, Firehouse Subs began raising funds with canister sales, followed by pickle buckets. About five years ago, Firehouse Subs began to ask for spare change from customers to raise money.
Firehouse Subs raised more than $4 million last year, and Alabama has raised nearly $900,000 this year. October is when Firehouse Subs holds its largest fundraiser. Customers can purchase medallions for $1, $5 or $25 to help fund carbon monoxide detectors.
“It’s been a huge impact giving back to local communities,” Conklin said. “People see these donations in their community and they realize that the donations do stay here. It makes them what to be behind it.”
Lt. Paramedic Clay McDougale took it upon himself to apply for the grant for the thermal cameras.
“We had one camera before, but it was old and outdated,” McDougale said. “It would have cost more to update it than to buy a new one.”
Because the funds were not in the city budget to purchase new cameras, McDougale presented the idea of approaching Firehouse Subs for the grant.
“I was on the engine with the old thermal camera, and I knew what kind of shape that was in,” McDougale said. “I knew we needed some new ones.”
Firehouse Subs presents grants quarterly, being able to give two or three each quarter. This is the third time a donation grant has been presented to Troy, according to Conklin.
“They put a grant in, and they tell us what they want and why they need it,” Conklin said. “This is how we give back and support the local first responders.”
Rex Lewis, Troy franchisee for Firehouse Subs, said that he is happy to help play a role in the grant.
“It’s good to be able to keep that within the community,” Lewis said. “We can’t do it without the customers. They are the ones that give their change or buy medallions, and we just feel good about being able to be a part of it.”
Outlaw said that without the support of local business such as Firehouse Subs and the support of the community, the fire department wouldn’t be able to do what they do.
“It is hard to keep up without the support of the community and businesses like Firehouse,” Outlaw said.
“(The firefighters) are the heroes in this,” Conklin said. “We just want to give (them) what (they) need.”