When a car crashes and people are trapped inside, the Niles Fire Department arrives on the scene with extrication equipment to get them out.
The equipment the department has worked fine up until now, but Fire Chief Steve Borkowski said auto manufacturers are using stronger metals, such as titanium, and that requires greater force to cut through.
The Firehouse Subs Foundation has ridden to the rescue of the rescuers, providing a $16,000 grant to upgrade the Niles Fire Department's equipment.
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The money went to rebuild the power units which power the cutters and spreaders the fire department uses to cut into vehicle metal and spread jammed car doors open.
The power units are gasoline-powered and use a hydraulic pump, Borkowski said.
Marty Feld, a district chief with the Niles Fire Department, applied for the grant, and Firehouse Subs paid the equipment manufacturer directly, Borkowski added.
Firehouse Subs opened a submarine restaurant in Niles earlier this year.
"They came into town and the owners set up a foundation to help first responders with equipment--which ultimately helps the public," Borkowski said.