Firehouse Subs donates AED to JCCC Police Department

October 6, 2016


Em Smail, supervisor of JCCC Dining Services, Gregory Russell, chief of police, and Tara Ruff, franchise owner of the Firehouse Subs in the JCCC food court, show off the new campus AED device. Photo by Susan McSpadden/JCCCEm Smail, supervisor of JCCC Dining Services, Gregory Russell, chief of police, and Tara Ruff, franchise owner of the Firehouse Subs in the JCCC food court, show off the new campus AED device. Photo by Susan McSpadden/JCCC


OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Johnson County Community College Police Department has received an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) as part of a nationwide grant from restaurant chain Firehouse Subs.

Gregory Russell, chief of police, said the AED was “a tremendous gift, and we are elated to get it.”

AEDs are portable machines used to check heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart if needed. Russell said a unit like the ones from Firehouse Subs can cost more than $3,000.

“Having used it in the past, I can attest to the importance of having these machines within reach,” Russell said.

About a year ago, the chief said, a man collapsed in the Billington Library on campus, and JCCC police officers used a nearby AED to save the man’s life.

“Without this,” he said, gesturing to a box about half as large as a carry-on suitcase, “we would not have been able to help him, and I doubt he’d be here today.”

Tara Ruff, franchise owner of the Firehouse Subs in the JCCC food court, approached Russell and Jay Glatz, director of Dining Services, to see whether the campus would like to apply for the charitable program. Franchise owners then applied to the “Sorensen AED Fund – 1,000 AED Gift Campaign” from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

The sandwich franchise has built a reputation donating to first responders, especially in communities where their restaurants are located. Usually, these communities are cities and towns, not community colleges. The JCCC location is the first (and Ruff thinks still only) Firehouse Subs located on a college campus.

“We have a unique relationship here,” Ruff said. “I’m glad that we could do something to benefit JCCC.” She has a background in working for non-profits, she said, and liked the idea of helping students, staff and visitors.

“To me it’s extremely important to do something other than just food,” Ruff said. “This is my way of contributing beyond the restaurant.”

JCCC currently has 44 AEDs in strategic locations on campus. The location for this one, the 45th, has yet to be decided.

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