A sandwich restaurant chain founded by firefighters now is providing $250,000 in grants to 20 fire departments in several states. Two of the grants approved on June 28 by the Jacksonville, Fla.-based Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation will go to benefit first responders in parts of Alabama that were devastated by a deadly tornado in April.

The grants will go to fire and police departments and EMS organizations in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, Tennessee, Texas, Nevada and Utah. The grants to tornado-stricken communities in Alabama come from a special fund-raising promotion the sandwich chain ran through May in which customers could "round up" their bill to the nearest dollar and contribute the difference to tornado victims. "Our local heroes need to be prepared at a moment's notice to protect and save lives," said Robin Peters, executive director of Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. "Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, with the support of our restaurants, is dedicated to equipping, educating and funding first responders."

In 2005, Firehouse Subs, founded by former firefighting brothers Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen, created the non-profit Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, to provide funding, equipment and educational opportunities to first responders. The foundation has given more than $2.2 million to fire and police departments and EMS organizations. The foundation plans to allocate another round of grants in September.

See more information on the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

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