(Grant Supports Soboba dps)

The Soboba Department of Public Services, located on the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians Reservation, recently received a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Inc. for some top-of-the-line safety equipment.

Soboba Tribal Administrator Michael Castello said the nearly $15,000 in funding will be used to purchase items for the department’s 25 public safety officers. Highly reflective safety vests and high-powered flashlights are just two of the things that each officer will be given to enable them to be even better equipped in performing their 24/7 duties.

The grant award was celebrated at the Beaumont Marketplace Firehouse Subs on Nov. 22. The Singh family are franchisees for several locations of the popular food chain. The locally facilitated event is based on the foundation’s belief that everyone should contribute to the safety of its own community.

A portion of all purchases at Firehouse Subs restaurants goes to the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation plus there are other ways customers can contribute at each restaurant including purchasing a five-gallon pickle (utility) bucket. The nonprofit coordinates with local franchisees in presenting the awards to applicants in their regional communities.

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was founded in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The restaurant’s co-founders, Chris and Robin Sorensen, traveled to Mississippi where they fed first responders as well as survivors. As they traveled back to Florida, where they are headquartered, they realized there was more they could do and started the foundation.

Its mission is to impact the lifesaving capabilities and the lives of local heroes and their communities through the provision of lifesaving equipment and prevention education. Since the foundation started, it has granted more than $46 million to helping hometown heroes throughout the United States, and in Puerto Rico and Canada, do their jobs better.

Firehouse Subs area representative Jim Fick said he was proud to be part of an event that arms first responders with equipment that helps make them and their communities safer.

“More than $1.1 million in grants have been awarded to agencies in California alone since 2012,” Fick said. “We are proud to be celebrating one of those today.”

Soboba DPS Manager Brian Herritt also teaches safety prevention at the Soboba Reservation’s tribal preschool and Noli Indian School for grades six through 12.

“Safety is everything and this grant allows us to be better prepared,” he said.

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