JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Oct. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation® kicks off its largest annual fundraiser, Public Safety Month, focusing on raising funds and awareness for a health crisis responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year – sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Firehouse Subs guests are invited to support this initiative by visiting their local Firehouse Subs restaurant and donating $1, $5 or $25 for a paper medallion throughout the month of October. Proceeds will help the Foundation provide automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and CPR/AED training.
"Many of us can share a personal story of a loved one or friend who suffered from sudden cardiac arrest, as often there are no warning signs," said Robin Peters, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Executive Director. "By providing training and life-saving AEDs, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation can work with first responders and local communities to be better prepared to recognize and respond to sudden cardiac arrest."
The focus of this year's fundraising campaign was inspired by an SCA tragedy that deeply impacted the Firehouse Subs family last year. The Michael Namey AED Initiative was established in memory of 18-year-old Michael Namey, the victim of SCA. By increasing public awareness of how to recognize SCA symptoms, provide life-saving assistance with the use of CPR and AEDs, the chance of survival increases significantly.
This year, the Foundation has awarded more than 1,200 AEDs to organizations across the country. Public Safety Month will give the Foundation a greater capability to help hometown heroes save lives through AEDs and CPR training. The Foundation's next CPR and AED training is scheduled for Nov. 16 at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.
According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, SCA is a leading cause of death among adults over the age of 40, with nearly 326,000 cases occurring each year outside of a hospital setting in the U.S. alone. Sadly, 90 percent of these victims die. When a bystander begins CPR and defibrillation within a few minutes of collapse, a person's chances of survival increase to nearly 40 percent. This year, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation encourages Firehouse Subs guests to "Save a Heart" – understand SCA, how to respond and always discuss heart health with doctors.
Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was founded in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Firehouse Subs co-founders, Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen, traveled to Mississippi where they fed first responders and survivors. As they traveled back to Florida exhausted and exhilarated, they knew they could do more and the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was born with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment, and educational opportunities to first responders and public safety organizations. Since inception, the non-profit organization has given more than $23 million to hometown heroes in 46 states and Puerto Rico.