The fire district established a local ordinance to install something called a "knox gate switch" on all automatic gates.
Firefighters hold the keys to these knox gate switches, which only they can use to get inside a property.
Springfield's fire code requires these switches to be installed on all automatic gates. Now, the Logan-Rogersville Fire Protection District is striving for 100% compliance to make sure all automatic gates have these switches. It could make the difference when it comes to saving lives.
"If a fire gets a big head start on us, it's very hard to come back and try to defeat that," says Robert Talburt, the Assistant Chief of Technical Services for the Logan-Rogersville Fire Protection District. "If we're delayed, whether it's a fire or a medical, that can be a big problem."
A big problem that the district is trying to solve. Logan-Rogersville firefighters are reaching out to everyone in the district with automatic gates-- whether it be in a subdivision, a private drive, or a business.
"To see if maybe we can correct the access issues we run into with those," says Talburt.
Fire officials say there have been incidents where firefighters have been stalled trying to enter through a gate.
"Time is of the essence in all types of emergencies-- but especially medical emergencies and fires," says Talburt. "And so we want to really be able to get to people--that's what we are here to do and we want to be able to do our jobs."
It's already fire code within Springfield's city limits to make sure all gates have a knox gate switch.
"Every gated community we have has one," says Steve Stinnett, Battalion Chief for the Springfield Fire Department.
Each fire truck carries a key for it-- exclusive to the fire department.
"They're all the same key," says Stinnett. "So it doesn't matter which fire truck gets there first."
It's a simple process that the Logan-Rogersville Fire Department is pushing for, that in an emergency, could mean life or death.
"We need to be able to respond quickly," says Stinnett. "And having that key allows us to be able to do so."
"If we can get there and get our guys into operation as quickly as possible-- that's ultimately what we want to do," says Talburt.
If you have an automatic gate and you live in the Logan-Rogersville Fire District, you can call the fire department at 417-753-4265 for more information.
It costs about $220 to buy and install the switch.
You can also find out more about knox switches by clicking here.
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