UNFPD gets new gear from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation


Logan Ansteatt

Video by Jack Drain

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation gave UNFPD a $41,991 grant to pay for a new police cruiser and six automated external defibrillator (AED) devices.

UNFPD celebrated receiving the grant for these items at Hicks Hall on Nov. 16. This is the fifth new police cruiser UNFPD has purchased in the last year.  

UNFPD Chief Frank Mackesy said they were six to eight AEDs short of having one for every police vehicle, before they received this grant. These devices are portable electronic devices that can automatically detect and treat certain cardiac issues.

“It’s one more tool at our disposal to keep the faculty and students safe,” Mackesy said. “Last year, we had a life saved because of them. A student had a heart attack in the library, and we were able to respond, use the AED, and get him to the hospital. Six weeks later, he walked into the station to thank us for saving his life.”

UNF students who attended the event also received free CPR and AED training as part of the foundation’s Michael Namey AED Initiative, which was inspired by the Jacksonville native who suffered from cardiac arrest and later passed away. The initiative seeks to provide equipment and training to prevent sudden cardiac arrest from causing more preventable deaths.

In July, Firehouse opened their 1,000th store, and to celebrate, they decided to give away 1,000 AED devices to local first responders. The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has given more than $23 million dollars in equipment and resources since its creation. Over $2 million of that has been donated directly to the Jacksonville community.

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