Wiregrass Newsroom: Fire Fighters Fighting to Reduce Response Times

Dothan, AL (WSFA) -- In the blink of an eye, fire fighters are out the door.  And it's all about getting from point A to B faster than before.

"We've shaved nearly ten seconds of our overall response time," says Captain Chris Etheredge of the Dothan Fire Department.

As part of the city's 2009 business plan, the Dothan Fire Department is making a commitment to reduce their current four minute and fifty-six second response time.

Fire fighters have 45 seconds, from the time the bell rings to put on their boots, pants, jacket and helmet, get in the truck and go.

From the sound of the alarm, to stepping out onto the scene those 45 seconds make up only a part of the four and a half minute goal they're striving for in 2009.

"We know from medical studies, and we can relate that and tie it into house fires, our best opportunity for a positive result is to be on scene between four to six minutes from the time the event occurs.

A lofty goal, but one the city appreciates.

"The fire department is doing an exceptional job. I'm proud that the men and women take their task of serving the public so seriously," says Dothan City Manager, Mike West.

And it's a goal Etheredge knows the department can hit.

"Absolutely! Yeah, we can do it."

Shaving seconds to save lives.

Reporter: Melissa McKinney