Help is on the way. Can it find you? 7/2/13


One of the reoccurring issues in my job is dealing with homes that are poorly marked, completely unmarked, or addressed out-of-sequence.  We’ve done our part in the 9-1-1 center, taking the call, determining what the problem is, and dispatching the appropriate help.  Sometimes, however, our best efforts are stymied by a lack of clearly marked addresses.

At my home, I have large reflective numbers mounted on a contrasting colored wall, under the porch light, next to the front door.  On the wall next to the garage door, another set of large, contrasting numbers face the street.  On the curb, painted numbers.  Of course, on the mailbox, both on the side and on the front door, reflective numbers.  I’ve made sure my relatives have done the same.  When an emergency happens, and seconds and minutes count, I won’t have emergency personel cruising up and down the street trying to figure out where I am.

How easy would it be for the ambulance crew to spot your house some foggy night?  If you live in the city, it might be less of an issue to determine which house is yours, as long as your neighbors have clearly marked addresses, but what if you live out in the county?  Your next neighbor might be hundreds of yards, or miles, away.  Is your address clearly marked at the entrance to your property?  If your home sits in the middle of an orchard, is there some marker at the driveway?

Make your address easily visible from the street.  This is especially true if your home has been addressed out of sequence.  Don’t make the ambulance guess which driveway is yours, or make the deputies knock on every door in the area trying to find you.  Time can be of the essence in many emergencies, and the quicker the responders can find you, the quicker you can be on your way to alleviating the crisis.

Oh, and be sure to know what your address is!  Especially if you call 9-1-1 on a cell phone.  It is a source of never ending concern to me how many people do not know their own address!  Put your own name and address in your contact list if you have to, so it’s available to you in case you’re upset and have momentarily forgotten.  (you might be surprised how many people will blank on simple things during emotionally agitated times.  It doesn’t help matters if they use a post office box or some other mailing service, and seldom even think of their home address.  Emergencies can befuddle the best of us!)  Oh, and for those who live waaaay out in the boonies, “route 7, box 14″ won’t cut it.  We get fewer and fewer like that each year, but every once in a while someone will pop up with that golden oldie.  We don’t know where that is.  I don’t know about other counties, but every place in Tulare County should have a street address.  If you don’t, contact the county and get one, else we may never find you in time!

We’ve done our part.  Help is on the way.  Now, be sure you’ve done your part, and have made it so we can find you!

Disclaimer:  This is not anything official from Tulare County, the Sheriff or Fire Departments, or any other agency.  These meanderings are simply those of someone who loves his job, and wants to be able to get you the help you need as quickly as possible.  

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