CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) A southern Utah fire department got new equipment worth nearly $10,000 thanks to the help of a sandwich shop.
The donation gives a boost to Cedar City first responders struggling with small budgets and big demands.
"The houses that we fight fires in today are just like a hazmat scene," Cedar City Fire Chief Mike Phillips said.
When dangerous chemicals get on firefighter's suits, they can cause life-threatening illnesses down the road, including cancer.
Washing the firefighting gear is critical to prevent exposure.
"It takes a long time to dry this fabric out," Chief Phillips said.
Air drying the suits can take up to a week, sidelining firefighters in the meantime.
That drying time will be cut down to just four hours now that a specialized $10,000 dryer has been donated to the department, thanks to a grant from Firehouse Subs' Public Safety Foundation Thursday.
"They don't have a lot of money in these smaller communities. Any thing we can give back is very helpful," Holly Yergensen said, Firehouse Subs franchise owner.
The money was raised by customers in Southern Utah.
"Without those programs, we wouldn't have the equipment we have," Chief Mike Phillips said.
Donations and grants have provided everything from trucks to a building for the department. Chief Phillips said the department couldn't fight fires successfully without the community's financial support.
Earlier this year, customers helped Firehouse Subs donate 150 cases of bottled water to the fire department.
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