Chandler firefighters trade fire hoses for tool belts to help with community project

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Members of the Chandler Fire Department traded their hoses for tool belts and paintbrushes Monday to take part in a big project to help the community.

About 20 to 30 firefighters, along with other community volunteers, brought their tools, paintbrushes and energy to paint part of the Salvation Army Community Center in Downtown Chandler.

The center serves an important role for the people of Chandler, and the facility was overdue for a fresh coat of paint and  other repairs.

"This is an extra way we can give back to the community," says Chandler Fire Chief Keith Welch. "We're usually reactive to the community's needs, and responding to emergency calls. But now we're able to be proactive and go out and really affect organizations in our community, and give back to them in different ways."

The firefighters are first prepping the building, then will start painting. Chief Welch says talked to 3TV about why this particular building is so important to the Chandler community. "You have to realize that the people that utilize this facility, we run into them all the time," he says. "And we really see the impact that it has when they have a nice, new-looking, fresh coat of paint on of the facilities they use to get food, after-school programs, education, things like that."
The project was organized by the Chandler Firefighter Charities in partnership with the Salvation Army. Dunn Edwards Paint in Chandler donated more than 1,000 gallons of paint and supplies so the project could be accomplished. The work on the building continues through Tuesday.