City council discusses emergency access

BLACKFOOT — The Blackfoot City Council began discussions Tuesday night regarding a secure building access system for emergency services.
The Knox-Box Rapid Entry system is a small, wall-mounted safe that contains building keys firefighters can access in case of an emergency. Blackfoot Fire Chief Kevin Gray said they often find themselves responding to a call and are unable to enter a secure building and must wait for a manager to respond to unlock the doors. He said the system would be helpful at extended care facilities, secured apartment buildings, schools and businesses that have frequent false alarms after-hours.
Gray said Pocatello, Idaho Falls and Fort Hall all use the system.
Emergency vehicles would each have a keypad-based unit mounted in the vehicle with a key to unlock the individual boxes on each business.
The cost is $225 per box, and it would cost $5,000-$6,000 to install the system in EMS and fire vehicles.
The council tabled discussion of the system until it can be determined if businesses would be interested in installing the box.
Also at the City Council meeting, the council approved the use of archery equipment and BB guns in Spruce Park at the annual Boy Scouts of American Cub Scouts day camps in June.
Mayor Mike Virtue also asked the councilmen to consider switching to monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of the month. That item should be discussed at the next council meeting, scheduled for April 5.