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Groveland honored three of its law enforcement officers who saved the lives of two local residents recently thanks to extensive training and the automatic external defibrillators (AED's) recently added to their patrol cars.

Through a donation from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, Groveland recently received 15 of the life saving devices. Honored at the meeting were Officer Alicia Menendez, Officer Scott King and Corporal Sammy Anderson.

Menendez had responded to an emergency call to find a person unconscious and not responding. After determining the victim's need for the device, she applied the AED and was able to start the persons heart again. Paramedics arrived on the scene and stabilized the person before transporting them to the hospital.

Anderson and King found themselves in a similar situation, again the officers quick action and the AED's were credited with saving the individual's life according to Groveland Police Chief M. Smith Tennyson.

Tennyson presented each officer with a plaque and commendation in front of the city council and the audience at the meeting. Also in attendance were police officers and local Firehouse Subs franchisees and area representatives Mike and Suzanne Kelly.

In most cases, there is only six minutes from the time the heart stops until serious or permanent damage or death will occur. An AED at hand significantly reduces the time.

The department received 15 AEDs, worth more than $18,000. The donated devices were added to each of the department's patrol vehicles ensuring officers are prepared to provide life-saving assistance if a citizen goes into cardiac arrest, according to the city.

In 2005, Firehouse Subs created the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment, and educational opportunities to first-responders and public safety organizations. Through the non-profit 501(c)(3), Firehouse Subs has given $12 million to hometown heroes in 42 states and Puerto Rico, including more than $2.4 million in Florida.

Each restaurant recycles leftover, five-gallon pickle buckets and sells them to guests for $2. Donation canisters on register counters explain the non-profit's mission and collect spare change, while the Round Up Program allows guests to "round up" their bill to the nearest dollar. All funds raised benefit the Foundation.

To learn more about Firehouse Subs and their program, go to firehousesubs.com.

AED's provided by Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation saved lives of Groveland residents
Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation
Shown from left to right are Cpl. Sammy Anderson, Officer Alicia Melendez, Officer Scott King, Mike Kelly, Michael Kelly, Chief M. Smith Tennyson and Deputy Chief John Flinn. (Photo by Mike Corradino)
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