ALTON - The Fosterburg Fire Protection District was able to purchase a thermal imaging camera with the assistance of a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

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The $7,500 grant was used to purchase a 6000 PLUS Thermal Imaging Camera, which can be utilized to locate "hot spots" while fighting fires. Those hot spots could contain flames not quite visible to the naked eye due to being hidden under debris, in standing walls or even due to darkness. The money came from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

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That foundation was established in 2005 by the founders of Firehouse Subs, who themselves were first responders. Money donated into that fund by customers of the sandwich shop is utilized to fund life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to first responders and public safety organizations. According to a release, the foundation has granted more than $28 million to agencies across 46 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. More than $793,000 was granted in Illinois.

"The new [thermal imaging camera] will greatly enhance our rescue and fie suppression efforts," Fosterburg Fire Protection District Chief John Holtorf said in a release. "We are very appreciative of the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, we would not have been able [to] purchase that camera without this grant."

Previously, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation awarded a grant to the Alton Fire Department for it to attain a life-saving CPR machine.

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