Lack of visible addresses slows down emergency responders - WNCT

Lack of visible addresses slows down emergency responders

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When you call 911 you want emergency crews to get to your home as fast as possible.

But you may be slowing them down and not even know it.

It's all about house numbers.

"Time is life," explained Randy Skinner, the Greene County Emergency Services Director.

Whether it's a fire or an EMS emergency, the race is against the clock.

"Our number one goal is to try and get to somebody as quick as we can," said Skinner. "When you're hunting for a house and it doesn't have a number on it, or posted where we can see it from the roadway, then we got to hunt for it."

It sounds simple, but emergency crews will tell you people just don't do it, especially in rural areas.

"It happens enough for us to worry about it," he said.

Many counties require you to at least have a number posted at least on your mailbox, but Skinner says others like Greene County, do not.

Skinner says of the biggest problems is at mobile home parks. Often, you'll find entire rows of mailboxes together. But if the number isn't on the home, the emergency responders then have to try and match mailboxes to houses.

You can pick up address numbers at any hardware store, and they are cheap.

Skinner says the bigger and more reflective, the numbers are, the better.

It's an investment that you would hate not to make if the ambulance is coming to your house.

"The main thing is make sure you can read it from the road, if you can read it from the road then we can read it from the road," said Skinner.

He says Greene County commissioners are aware of the problem, and are discussing establishing a possible ordinance, requiring home owners to have a visible house number.

If you don't want numbers on your house, Skinner says they also make blue and green reflective signs you can put in your yard.

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