First Responders Update

By Kelly Gordon -
President, First Responders

A common question we get is, “Should we get a Knox Box?” Some of you might not have a clue what a Knox Box is nor think it’s something you need. I don’t work for the company, get a kickback from them, nor do I recommend things to ANYONE that I don’t think are important and necessary.

We have a lot of people on the island who are elderly and live alone. Others travel frequently, and their house is left unattended for months at a time. We also have elderly couples who might not be able to help each other up after a fall because they’re not strong enough. If you or your spouse is bedridden and the other falls, who will be able to get to the door when we arrive?

As stated, each circumstance is different. In my experience as a firefighter for more than 12 years (I finally retired) and as a medical first responder for more than seven years, I’ve seen the advantages of having a Knox Box for us to gain easy entry into your home in an emergency.

A Knox Box is a box that is placed somewhere on your home. It is securely locked and holds the key to your house. There is a master key to the Knox Box, which is kept locked up on the fire truck. Let’s say you’re out of town, your smoke alarm goes off, and the fire department is paged to your home. Instead of breaking into a window or a door, we’d use the master key to unlock your Knox Box. We’d safely unlock your door to make sure there’s no smoke or flames inside your home.

If your spouse is bedridden and you’re on the floor and call 912-355-6688 for medical help, we can gain entry into your home without any damage to your property and get you the help you need. We use them ALL THE TIME. I talked my parents into getting one years ago, and it’s one of the best and wisest purchases they’ve ever made.

The big question we typically get is. “How do I know someone won’t break into my home if they carry a master key on the fire truck?” The answer is simple and honest. The key is kept in a locked box on the truck with a code. Each time the code is used, it leaves digital footprints. Anyone using the code can be tracked in case there was ever any suspicious activity.

I can assure you all with CONFIDENCE, any Paramedic, firefighter, or EMT who uses that key in The Landings is doing so in a professional and responsible way. I’ve been on countless calls when we’ve used the Knox Box to gain entry into a home. The patient is always so relieved when we walk in to render aid, and they know we’ve done so without any damage to their property. Once the call is over, we put the key back in the box and lock it up. The master key goes back into the locked and safe box on the fire truck.

I implore all of you to do your homework and research the Knox Boxes. Ask your neighbors who have them, and I assure you, they will encourage you to get one. You can visit the Knox Box website ( to order one. It’s simple, quick, and easy.

Once it arrives, a terrific neighbor of ours, Tony Berens, with Island Lock Services, has offered to install the Knox Boxes free of charge. You can reach Tony at or  678-465-8727. He also has graciously offered to include a key to place inside the box (which he will ensure works) free of charge as well. This is an unbelievably kind gesture, and this community is lucky to have someone like Tony looking out for us. Once it’s installed, you will call the First Responders number (912-355-6688) and advise them you need a firefighter to come lock the Knox Box.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to have a plan for an emergency. Pick up the yellow medical cards at TLA, make a list of emergency contacts for you, your spouse, and your pets, order a Knox Box, check your smoke detectors regularly, and put the First Responders phone number in your contacts under “favorites” so that it’s easy to find. We always will be here for you when you need us. That being said, it makes everything much easier when you are prepared. Also, be sure to stay hydrated, wear a bike helmet, don’t let your toddlers ride in your lap when you’re driving a golf cart, and please, don’t let your underaged children drive your golf cart. Trust me when I tell you we’ve seen some pretty horrific things out here, all of which could have been prevented if the aforementioned tips were followed.

Remember, if you have a Knox Box and you call 912-355-6688 for a medical or fire emergency, be sure to let the dispatcher know you have a Knox Box on your property so that we’re told to look for it. You also can inform Landings Security, and if you have one, your alarm company should also be informed.

Thank you for your continued support for the Skidaway Island First Responders. Stay safe!


This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit to read the original article.