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Matt and Jodi Berndt from Firehouse Subs presents a check to the Stockton Fire Department. (Metro Wire photo)

Firehouse Subs donates to Stockton FD

By Brandi Makuski

The Stockton Fire Department has a new piece of gear, thanks to a local grant.

The SFD crew received $1,043.38 last week in the form of a Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Grant. The department used the funds to purchase a small thermal imaging camera.

“We have a couple of different bigger ones, but this one does pretty much everything the bigger one does,” said Stockton Fire Chief Jeremy Spencer. “And it’s a little bit easier to carry with you, it clips onto your gear, it’s not very heavy.”

An example of the small thermal imaging camera acquired by the SFD. (Courtesy MESFire)

A pair of Florida firefighters launched Firehouse Subs in 1994. The chain devotes a portion of every purchase to the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, which provides lifesaving equipment to first responders. To date, the Foundation has donated over $67 million.

Husband-wife duo Matt and Jodi Berndt, of Weston, opened the area’s first Firehouse Subs in Portage Co. a year ago next to District 1 Brewing at 200 Division St. as the home for their franchise. Matt Berndt is a firefighter for Kronenwetter, so the cause is meaningful to the family.

Business is so good, according to the couple, that they plan to open another location in Weston.

Jodi Berndt said the Foundation dollars come from customers rounding up during purchases, sales of pickle buckets, and donation drives in October. A percent of every sale also goes to the Foundation, she said.

Stockton is the third local department to be honored by the Stevens Point Firehouse Subs in the past year. The Stevens Point Fire Department won a $34,000 grant earlier this year, followed by a $10,000 award to Waupaca FD.