FAULKNER COUNTY, Ark. – Volunteer firefighters in Faulkner County are getting much-needed and improved gear.

The Highway 286 Volunteer Fire Department on Tuesday received a $19,000 grant, courtesy of Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

The money will be used to buy 15 sets of wildland gear, which includes coats, pants, helmets, gloves, boots and goggles.

The best part is that the gear is half the weight of what they are currently using.

“Anyone knows anything about structural gear you know it’s real heavy, bulky — increases fatigue a lot faster,” Volunteer firefighter Lt. Payton Jolley said. “So, this right here we’re able to get the utmost protection with it and still accomplish the job and be able to perform for a lot longer with that gear.”

Jolley said the timing couldn’t be better.

In 2021, they responded to roughly 55 different incidents.

So far this year they’re on track to double that, because of the extreme heat, dry conditions and burn bans.