MUNSTER | A trip for a bite to eat at the Munster Firehouse Subs in September has resulted in the donation of a $13,000 thermal imaging camera for the Crete Fire Department.
Crete Fire Chief Lyle Bachert was out to lunch in September at the restaurant in the Munster Shops on Calumet Avenue when he saw information about the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. The foundation donates money, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities for first-responders and public safety organizations. The founders of the Firehouse Subs franchise are brothers and former firefighters.
Needing a new Bullard thermal imaging camera, Bachert went to the website, applied for a grant and received the $13,000 needed to purchase a state-of-the-art piece of equipment. It replaces a 15-year-old camera the department couldn't repair.
"It's vital, it detects heat," Bachert said. "It looks through smoke looking for heat where firefighters have to be or it can detect heat from missing persons."
The department has a total of three cameras.
The donation is just one example of the franchise's mission, said Steve Szalinski, a Firehouse Subs area representative.
"We are a public safety entity and we're proud of it," he said during a brief ceremony at the Munster restaurant on Thursday.
Munster Firehouse Subs owner Jerry Stanek is in the Coast Guard Reserves. He co-owns the restaurant with his wife, Lynn, whose father, Frank Miskowski, had been a firefighter in East Chicago for more than 30 years.
"I'm happy to do it," Lynn Stanek said. "It meant a lot to me to do it because I came from a family of first-responders and I saw how they served their community and I wanted to do the same."