Fire Officials Hope New Lock Boxes Save Lives

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) - With dozens of medical calls a month, first responders face gaining access to a home as one of the most challenging parts of a call.

One Shoals city believes they may have come up with a better solution than making forced entry into a home.

Real estate agents have used them for years; now first responders in Muscle Shoals hope they will help save someone’s life.

Thanks to a state grant, the Muscle Shoals Fire Department is offering lock boxes that can be installed on a senior citizens door, and in the box is a key to the home.

“We are able to get into their house, unlock the door without causing any damage to anything, and getting I and taking care of the emergency problem quickly,” said Muscle Shoals Fire Marshal Donald Ray Coons.

According to Coons, a master key that will unlock the box will be in each fire truck that responds to medical emergencies.

That in turn Coons said, allows a fire fighter to get to the patient quicker.

“If they fell, they have a head injury and they are bleeding, it could be really bad and really dangerous,” explained Donald Ray Coons. “This helps cut back on the time that we have to wait to be able to get access in there to get to the patient and take care of them.”

The city of Muscle Shoals will be installing 27 of the units free of charge to medically high risk residents.

Others can purchase the lock boxes by going through the fire department.

If you are interested in applying for one of the free boxes, or you want to purchase one of the lock boxes for your home, contact the administrative office for the Muscle Shoals Fire Department.