CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Some first responders will be outfitted with safer gear thanks to the work of a local sandwich shop owner. 

Ed Price is a big fan of sandwiches but he's an even bigger fan of firefighters. He's helped provide local fire departments with lifesaving gear.

Price, a Charlottesville native, is known for his Firehouse Subs. But recently, the local franchise owner has been recognized for helping out in the community.

His restaurant raised more than $100,000 in grants for local first responders.

"Giving back to the community seemed like a great thing,” said Price.

The money is used to buy emergency gear for local first responders, like radios, helmets and defibrillators, and life-saving equipment.

"Without the grant, we would have been in a deficit or we would have been kind of scrambling,” said Charlottesville Fire Department Deputy Chief Mike Rogers.

Most recently, Price helped raise $27,000 for the Charlottesville Fire Department.

"That was for Bunker gear and Personal Protective Equipment,” said Price.

Rogers says the grant has been a huge help to the department.

"You need two sets of gear per firefighter. The grant allowed us to do ten sets, which greatly helped us with the onboarding of new firefighters,” Rogers explained.

Price's work earned him the Ax Award for Mid-Atlantic Firehouse Subs Franchise of the Year, an honor recognizing a franchise owner for going above and beyond to help others in their  community.

"You know, I was completely surprised and taken aback. I am humbled by the honor of this ax award,” said Price.

To learn more about the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, click here.