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Fire Department Solves a Long-Smoldering Problem – with High-Performance Doors


Fort GordonFor a very active fire department, the wrong overhead doors cannot only churn through a lot of money in maintenance costs. They can also cost time and lives if they open slowly or not at all.

The Fort Gordon Fire Department serves one of the most active U.S. Army installations in America. In addition to serving the fire and emergency services needs of the base, it also provides emergency services to nearby Augusta, Georgia and other communities across Richmond, Jefferson, McDuffie and Columbia counties.

The Problem

When this building was constructed, traditional sectional overhead doors were selected for their low cost. However, these doors were never designed for a critical, high-cycle application like emergency services – where doors may open and close several hundred times per day, and downtime could make the difference between life and death.

Overhead sectional doors are usually designed with continuous metal-to-metal contact between major components. They require frequent and costly maintenance of rollers, hinges and cables.

In addition, the tracks supporting the original overhead-style sectional doors projected into the center of the building. This restricted the use of any space above the height of the doors.

After several years of operation, the Fort Gordon Fire Department analyzed the maintenance and operation costs of these doors and discovered they were significantly higher than expected. So, the decision was made to replace all six doors with a more reliable design that would require less maintenance, provide greater uptime and, ideally, faster opening and closing speeds.

“The main reason for the change was a reduction in maintenance cost,” explains assistant fire chief Robert Gruber.

The Solution

After researching its options and seeing Rytec Spiral® doors in action at a nearby prison, the Fort Gordon Fire Department specified them to replace its maintenance-prone sectional doors.

Spiral® doors are specially engineered for high-cycle environments like emergency services. Their patented design guards against wear and tear on the aluminum panels, resulting in minimal maintenance – as well as preserved aesthetics and longer life. They’re designed with reduced maintenance in mind – including energy-efficient motors and self-diagnostic controllers – to ensure trouble-free, efficient operation, day in and day out.

In addition, the compact header of the Spiral® door is contained entirely between the top of the door opening and the ceiling, freeing up space formerly occupied by the sectional door tracks.

The Results

“The new doors help reduce our response time between 30 to 45 seconds, and this can make a big difference when responding to an emergency,” points out Lester Porter, Fort Gordon Fire Department’s Fire Chief.

While this may not sound like much, it could potentially save lives!

Fort Gordon Doors

“Our trucks can be dispatched faster to handle an emergency on the post. With an opening speed up to 60 inches per second, the Rytec Spiral® doors offer the speed needed for high-traffic situations such as ours,” Gruber emphasizes.

“The fire station’s new doors take less than two-and-a-half seconds to open. Their powerful, high-efficiency electric motors, nylon rollers and spiral tracks enable high speed and smooth motion. In addition, their variable-speed drives provide soft starting and stopping as well as infinite speed adjustments.

The Rytec Spiral® doors’ excellent reliability saves the fire department money that was previously spent on maintenance. Ultimately, the Rytec Spiral® doors save taxpayers money, which makes everyone happy.

Please check out our video case study to see the Fort Gordon Fire Department doors in action.

Learn more about high-performance doors designed for emergency services or contact us today for more information.


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