A new sub restaurant chain recently opened its doors in Okotoks.

Firehouse Subs recently opened a location in the D'Arcy Crossing shopping centre and had a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, November 18. 

This Firehouse Subs location is owned by Cody Gosling and Mitch Turgeon, who both have a background in food service and franchises.

"My background, and Mitch's, is we've got Tim Hortons locations," explains Gosling. "I grew up in Tim Hortons and was very happy at Tim Hortons. Which, I know it doesn't sound like it's related." But Gosling explains that Firehouse Subs was looking for franchisee people who were already connected to Tim Hortons. 

"We weren't looking for another brand. We were happy at Tim Hortons," explains Gosling. "But the more we learned about this brand and what it stood for, and the quality of the food, the foundation, it almost became that we couldn't turn it down, in a way."

Firehouse Subs was founded in 1994 by brothers Chris and Robin Sorensen, who were also firefighters. The brothers discovered they had a passion for cooking while cooking for their fellow firefighters, and decided to open up a restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida.

In 2005, the brothers went to see the effects of Hurricane Katrina, and they realized they wanted to give back to the community. So, they created the Firehouse Public Safety Foundation. 

Co-owner with one of their pickle pails.

"Disasters don't happen often enough to be able to give as much as they wanted, thankfully. So, they started the Public Safety Foundation," explains Turgeon. The foundation provides lifesaving equipment to all first responders.

"Every local first responder group has the opportunity to submit an application for a grant. And that grant will be a request for life-saving equipment, usually, and it will be something they need," says Gosling. "They'll inventory their own equipment and then think about an item that they would need, and the Public Safety Foundation will acquire that piece of equipment for them, if they are awarded the grant."

Everything from rescue boats, disaster relief equipment, AEDs, and an ambulance have been donated to first responders' groups. 

Firehouse Subs has awarded over $3.2 million to Canadian first responders and over $79 million to American first responders.

They have a few ways that people can donate to the Public Safety Foundation, including purchasing Firehouse Sub's emptied, five-gallon buckets for three dollars. All proceeds from the pickle buckets will be donated to the Public Safety Foundation.

Each Firehouse Subs location is decorated with a custom mural. The mural at the Okotoks location has the Okotoks Erratic, the old Okotoks sign, the prairies and mountains in the background, a fire truck, and two firefighters. 

They have also decorated the interior with donated firefighter gear from Okotoks Fire and Rescue.

For more information, visit the Firehouse Subs website.

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