Firehouse Subs to the Rescue!

posted by Momo Fali on June 12, 2013

When I was three years old I was in our basement watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and playing with my cousins when I found a small, silver ring on the floor. Not a jewelry ring, but something that had probably fallen off of a toy because it was the dark ages and they didn’t have choking warnings yet. Though, I was the 4th child, so even with a choking warning I would have been expected to give myself the Heimlich.

But, I didn’t eat the little ring, I put it on my finger. A few minutes later, when my finger turned purple, I went upstairs to show my mom. She stayed calm, because 4th child, and drove me to a nearby fire station where the firefighters had a tool to cut the metal off my swollen hand.

I bet none of those firefighters remember that incident, but my mom and I sure do. Just as I remember the two times I’ve had to call the fire department to my house in the years since. It’s amazing how safe you feel when you’re in the presence of life-saving people. It’s a total bonus that they look good in uniform.

Last night I attended an event at Firehouse Subs, where I got to meet the founder, Robin Sorenson. He and his brother were 2nd generation firefighters when they opened their first sub shop in Jacksonville, Florida.


See the bucket he’s holding? That’s one of 150,000 barrels of pickles that Firehouse Subs empties, then resells for charity, each year. Just since opening one of their five shops in the Columbus area, they have donated over $220,000 to local fire departments for life-saving equipment.

That’s just in central-Ohio. There are over 600 Firehouse Subs franchises and all of them give back to the communities in which they’re located. I don’t know about you, but that’s a great reason for my family to eat there. But, if that isn’t enough for you, just look at this brisket, oozing with cheese.


Mmm hmm. Plus, Firehouse Subs was voted No.1 fast food sandwich by Zagat and No. 1 sandwich in a Nation’s Restaurant News Consumer Picks study. For real, its good.

And, because they can’t stop being nice even if they tried, they’ve asked me to give a lucky reader $20.00 in gift cards! Just leave a comment on this post and tell me about a moment when a firefighter helped you or touched you in some way. You can earn an extra entry by tweeting about this giveaway and leaving the URL to your tweet in a comment on this post.

This contest ends on June 17th, 2013 at noon EDT. One winner will be chosen from among qualified entries. Good luck and happy eating!


  • Mama D

    Have been blessed in not yet requiring (knocking wood) the professional services of any firefighters. That said, a very kind fireman let my firetruck-obsessed son (aged about 4) ride in the front seat of a fire truck with me and pull the horn cord during a community event where families could ride in a fire truck, which made a little boy very happy. And the same volunteer fire company let us use their hall to fill Easter eggs with candy for the annual town hunt when we ran out of space in our usual meeting room!

  • Sally

    a few years ago we had a major fire in our 16 unit condo. after all was said and done the fire department let us in to survey the damage. while we were very luck to not have lost everything we were shocked to see the firemen had gone in before all the blazes and took photos, tv’s and other precious items put them on the beds or couches and covered them with tarps! Several special pictures were saved along with my great uncle’s medals from wwii! not to mention they rescued all the dogs before the fire engulfed the building! i am forever grateful to firemen!

  • tracey

    My daughter was choking on a piece of plastic that was suctioned to her throat. I couldn’t get it by heimlich and she was just a baby. The only 911 call that I’ve ever made for my kids… By the time (only a minute later, to be honest) they got there, she was breathing again but they stayed and helped ME calm down in a house with two wide-eyed little boys and a baby I wouldn’t put down again.

  • Lisa Daly

    I haven’t had the need for a fireman directly but when a landscape contractor had cut the gas line in our backyard, they were there quickly and stayed on until all the gas was turned off and we were safe until the repairs were made.

  • Kari

    I haven’t ever had to call the services of a fireman (thank goodness) but I have been friends with several firefighters over the years and they are AMAZING.
    Oh and I love those subs!!
    I had one in Tennessee at Christmas time while visiting my parents and it was the best sub I have ever had.

  • Joni

    While vacationing in the Outer Banks, my 5 year old son was bitten by a spider, resulting in a rash on his body from head to toe. Took him to the nearest fire station where the paramedics treated him as though he were a hero…LETTING a spider bite him. They were the most compassionate people for such a minor incident…even gave him some fire “gear” for being so courageous. I would contribute to fire fighter causes anytime, as well as getting the perfect sub!!!!
    Thanks for all you do!!!

  • Robyn

    Firefighters saved Christmas Eve one year when I was young & a oil candle on our mantle caught on fire & my father thought it would be good to throw water on it – instead of the fire extinguisher my brother wanted to use (too messy, says dad). Well water & an oil fire ignited the ceiling, curtains and almost the Christmas tree!

    I didnt think we had a Firehouse Subs in my area, but I looked it up and we do! Would love to give it a try…

  • tara

    I’ve luckily never needed a fireman’s service, but I currently live right next door to a firehouse, and I really appreciate that they wait to turn their sirens on once they are past the houses on my block when it’s 3am.

    I told them the other day I would bake them cookies, and I’m really excited to drop them off. Firemen (and women) are the best! And totally look great in uniform….

  • Mami2jcn

    We had a small fire about a dozen years ago in our home and firefighters responded and helped us.

  • Laura

    The week we moved into our house my husband and his brother were doing some “maintenance”. a fire started, we could handle the small fire but the previous owner had an alarm, we thought it didn’t work. the firefighters were her in just a few minutes. we didn’t need them but it was nice see how fast they got here.

  • Monica

    Many years ago, I accidentally locked my keys and phone inside my car, with my 1 and 3 year old sons securely harnessed in their car seats while sporting heavy Halloween costumes. The car was parked in the sun on a warm afternoon.

    Without a phone, I had to run around the corner to find a phone to use. A tow truck came…the operator could not jimmy the lock. A police officer came…he couldn’t get in either. The boys — one elephant and one pumpkin — were both crying. After 45 minutes of people trying to help, a fire truck rolled up, and before the thing had even stopped, one of the fireman jumped off, axe and duct tape in hand, walked quickly over to the driver side door, taped it up, smashed the glass, and ended the ordeal in approximately 5 seconds. He was fast and effective and cool as a cucumber.

    The air in the van was HOT. When it hit my face and I realized what the boys had been going through, I started really crying. My boys, both crying up to that point, felt the cool air rush in, and stopped crying. The first thing my 3 year old did was point to the red truck and say: “Look Mama! Firetruck!”

    Thank God for firetrucks, duct tape, axes, and firemen.

  • Martina Crosby

    This past March, my apartment building caught fire at 3am. My neighbors woke me and I quickly dressed (knowing it was in the 30’s outside)leaving my 4 cats behind. The building is old and I knew there were no fire walls, so any fire would spread quickly. The fire fighters arrived a few minutes later and I told them about my cats. Two firemen entered my apartment and came out a few minutes later with one cat. They went back in to continue to look for the others. After what seemed like an eternity, they had found two more and the carrier. After asking where the last one might be hiding, they went in a third time and found him. The upheaval the fire caused me would have been much more difficult to navigate if I had lost my beloved little pets. I am still amazed that the firefighters put as much emphasis on finding my and my neighbors pets and they would have at finding people.

  • Amie

    My dad is a retired firefighter, so I quite literally wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for him. 🙂 Maybe I should take him to Firehouse Subs for Father’s Day!

  • Deb

    My Dad lost about 1/3 of his house to a fire, thankfully the rest was saved because of the brave men who showed up. Firemen are the best! My husband and I ride with a Club that is made of law enforcement, military, firefighters, & EMT’s, so some of our good friends are firefighters and we thank them for their service, along with our other Club members. I LOVE FIREHOUSE SUBS!! I have several of these pickle buckets too!!!

  • Virginia Kahler-Anderson, aka HomeRearedChef

    I really wish I had a story to ell, but I’ve only had the pleasure of beeing good friends, for many years, with a brother and sister who are proud of their father, a retired Firehouse Chief, from Sunnyvale, California. He did an awesome job raising his children. 🙂

    I am also glad I found this post being featured on’s E-paper this morning, or I would have missed a wonderful article. (And boy, that sandwich looks really yummy!)

  • AlisonH

    My oldest was barely 6, her brother 4 on the day they waited for me to walk out of the room and then she proceeded to climb up the back of the rocking chair while he got it going rockrockrock as fast as he could–and then he let go to see what would happen.

    She went flying and landed with the small of her back at the edge of the raised brick around the fireplace. I came in the room to find him scared to death and her lying there, not wanting to move.

    It was when she said I can’t move, Mommy, adding that she needed to go to the bathroom but she couldn’t move that I was on the phone with the doctor, who said the obvious, Call 911.

    The firemen showed up and the first thing they did was hand a little teddy bear to my little girl to hold onto to help her keep calm while they moved her to a backboard and into the ambulance that had also shown up. (Oh, hi, neighbors.) It was adorable and she was entranced with it. Those big strong authoritative calm men did a tremendous job of making everybody feel it would be okay.

    My husband went off to the hospital with her while I stayed behind with the other kids–the youngest was a few months old–and as the ambulance pulled out, my little four year old turned to me, stricken, and asked me in this tiny voice, Is she ever coming back again?


    (No broken back, it turned out. Hadn’t fallen far enough for that. But there was muscle damage that took her about a year to recover from.)

  • AlisonH

    p.s. (And when they asked if I’d seen it happen, I said if I’d seen it it wouldn’t have happened.)

  • Pam McG from Ohio

    20 years ago I was knocked down and had my foot run over by a runaway lawn tractor that the driver had been knocked off by a low hanging branch. Back then, the mower blade kept turning even if the driver fell off so basically it made mince meat of my foot. The firemen and paramedics that came were so gentle, kind and reassuring as they rushed me to the hospital. Luckily, the doctors saved my foot!

  • Kris

    Firehouse Subs recently opened in Green Bay – I’ll definitely have to check them out!

    I don’t have a heroic story, but this still really made my day. A few weeks ago, my 4-year-old son & I were walking in to a nearby grocery store just as the local firemen were walking out with their daily foodstuffs. They all stopped to talk to him & fawned over him, even though he has autism & has a hard time holding eye contact or making conversation. But the all told him to be good and be brave and my personal favorite, “listen to your mom!”.

    And even though he had a hard time processing it one the spot, I’ve heard about those firemen nearly every day since then. They’re good guys, and it’s heartwarming to know that they’re looking out for us, keeping us all safe.

  • Amanda

    I LOVE Firehouse Subs!

    My fireman story is way back when I was 5 years old. My parents had taken me and my two year old borther to our town fair. I remember holding my dad’s hand while we were looking at the town fire trucks parked in the grass. Somehow in the excitement I dropped my dad’s hand and wandered away. When I realized I was alone I panicked as only a little kid can do. By screaming and crying. But one of the firefigter’s in full gear, minus the helmet, heard my cries and hurried over to me. He calmed me down and gave me his hat to wear as he sent his buddies to look for my frantic parents. When they found me there I was happily sitting on the fireman’s knee, huge helmet on my head, giggling and sucking on a sucker. I’ve never forgotten how safe he made me feel until I could be with my parents again.

  • meleah rebeccah

    Wow. Firehouse Subs are amazing with all of their fundraising. That’s just awesome. I love stories like these.

  • CyndyNewsome

    I have had to call 911 for my kids a few times. (does that make me a parent fail?) One time was when my oldest daughter, an infant, decided to stop breathing. NOT FUN. Firefighters saved the day!

  • Jessica

    I’ve never had to call the fire department, but we do attend the trick or treat hosted at our local fire station. They have a mix of games and safety booths. A practice phone to dial 911, safety stickers for car seats, an ambulance they let kids check out (just in case they get a ride they aren’t as freaked out) also a life flight helicopter. Cool stuff!

  • Zak

    Hmm, let’s see…there was that one time THIS WEEK when the firemen made my entire neighborhood not burn down.

    I appreciate them.

  • Momo Fali

    CONGRATS TO JESSICA! picked lucky #2!

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