Firehouse Subs donates AEDs to small-town police department

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GARLAND, Box Elder County — It's all in the name.

From the “Hook & Ladder” special, to the gear on the wall and enough red to paint a fire truck — spend just a minute in any Firehouse Subs restaurant and you can tell right away honoring firefighters is a big deal to the sandwich chain.

"Personally, I have eaten at Firehouse Subs, so I don't have any beef because they make pretty good food,” police officer Steve Downey with a laugh. “I don’t know of any police house subs or anything.”

Downey works at the Garland Police Department; it’s a small department in Box Elder County.

"You can talk to other officers from other agencies, and they don't even know we're up here,” Downey said with another one of his laughs.

Garland may be small, but he loves it.

Unlike working in a larger police department, Downey said, the differences he makes in Garland affect residents right away.

"Everybody gets into law enforcement for different reasons, but for me, it was to make a positive impact in the community I live. I don’t get a lot of calls, so I can shake hands with kids or go play catch with them at the ballpark," Downey said.

Making a positive impact is so important to him, Downey couldn’t stop smiling when he recently received an automated external defibrillator for his patrol car. For him, it meant being able to possibly save a life.

In Garland, firefighters and paramedics are volunteers. Often, police arrive first to a medical call.

"It’s important for us to get that AED. We had another one, but it was 15 years old,” said Garland Police Chief Chad Soffe. “So getting a new one means we can be that much better. Especially when we're there 10, 15 minutes before the volunteers get to the station and get to the house, we can make a difference."

This is where all those sandwiches come in.

Firehouse Subs donated money to the Utah Fraternal Order of Police, which bought the AED for Garland. Basically, a place all about firefighters helped police.

"It was donated by Firehouse Subs, the firemen looking out for the cops, so yeah, it's good,” Soffe said.

Just don't ask the police officers how many times they help firefighters.

"I do my fair share of teasing firefighters and stuff,” Downey said. “But, at the end of the day, we all work together and we get the job done."


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