WATERVILLE – The Winslow Fire Department has some new rescue equipment thanks to a local sub shop.
The new rescue boat was presented to the department at Firehouse Subs in Waterville Thursday morning.
“We absolutely could not have done this without their help,” said Winslow Fire Chief Ronnie Rodriguez.
The Winslow Fire Department can now better respond to emergencies on the Kennebec River, thanks to a grant from Firehouse Subs in Waterville.
The $27,340 grant funded the new rescue boat for the department.
“We’re very grateful. We hope we never have to use it, but in the event we do it’s quite a piece of equipment,” said Chief Rodriguez.
The grant money came from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.
In stores across the country, customers have the option to round up their purchase. That money, along with donations from the company, goes into a national account.
Every quarter, emergency departments can apply for grant money, like the Winslow Fire Department.
“This one was seen as a really tremendous need for the area and it’s going to help with a lot of towns, because Winslow and mutual aid will be able to get out on the Kennebec and save lives,” said Jeanne Wolkens, Firehouse Subs’s district manager.
The foundation got started in 2005, and since then has donated more than $32 million worth of equipment to first responders.
“It gives us all and all of our employees a sense of being something greater than just ourselves, and being able to really help the towns that support us,” said Wolkens.
The rescue boat is replacing an inflatable boat that the chief said no longer holds air and is 26 years old.
“The town of Winslow is full of great people,” said Chief Rodriguez. “We’re always going out looking for grants to apply for in order to get equipment that will help us better serve the community.”
Firehouse Subs is getting ready to open a new franchise in Bangor. They said that’s planned to open by the end of the summer.