WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — D.C. firefighters and EMS crews often find themselves in up-and-down situations, as they respond to an average of 5-8 calls a day for people trapped in elevators.

It can take minutes — and sometimes even hours — to free those who are stuck depending on where the elevator is.

Emergency crews have a new device designed to make it faster to rescue those trapped.

Engine Company 2 and Rescue Squad 1 have their own piece of equipment that allows them to open stuck doors quicker.

A clear piece of plexiglass simulates the door, along with gears and mechanisms found on actual doors.

“You get to the hoistway door, it’s a solid piece of door. With a hole in it,” said Fire Rescue Technician Jim Mazzara. “And you’re sticking the key in blindly, twisting it, trying to find out where you’re going to hit and open it.”

The device is similar to others provided by the city.

“We can see everything that we’re doing so when we do get out there, it’s not really a guessing game anymore,” Mazzara said.

That’s expected to reduce the time it takes rescue crews to get people out of broken elevators.

“It sounds like a good idea to me. Anything to make it easier,” said a woman who only identified herself as Amora.

Crews rescued here from a stuck elevator two years ago.

“It was just this rental building I was working at. I was a concierge. It just got stuck,” Amora said. “I thought that only happened in movies, it was terrifying.”

Rescue personnel offered some tips if you find yourself stuck in an elevator.

First, don’t open the door yourself. You could hurt yourself, or even worse. Hit the buzzer in the elevators and call for help.

Also don’t overload the elevator, pay attention to weight limits. Crews said that often causes elevators to malfunction.