GREENSBORO, N.C. — Sixty seconds. That’s how long it’s supposed to take firefighters to get on a truck and respond to an emergency, but the Greensboro Fire Department says there is one obstacle in the way – slow fire station doors.
“We’ve timed the doors at each of our stations and Station 4, to be the busiest station and have the most emergency incidents here, has the slowest doors,” Assistant Chief Dwayne Church said.
Church says the main exits take about 27 seconds to open, but the back doors are as slow as 40 seconds – not including additional time it takes to wait for the door to close.
“Twenty-seven seconds for the door to close, that’s their entire time,” he said.
The department uses the analogy of a crew showing up to a burning structure and waiting 30 seconds before going inside to explain the ultimate impact slow doors can have on response times.
The Greensboro Fire Department has ordered Rytec high-speed doors that can open in three seconds.
“When I saw that video, it was very impressive,” firefighter Bo Brame said.
The doors are expected to be installed at Fire Station 4 soon.
If all goes well, there are plans to put high-speed doors in at least three other operating stations.
Fire Station 63, the newest Greensboro fire station that is not currently open, was built with bi-fold doors that can open quickly.