In an emergency situation, response time is of the essence. But what if police or fire fighters didn't reach your home in time, all because of a mix-up in the name of your street. It's a problem that has some East Texans helpless in an emergency but Upshur county officials are working to fix the problem.
"We're a large rural county and we need to get it right the first time," said Gina Offield, Upshur county 911 center coordinator. County officials are in the process of reviewing on whether to rename more than ten roads and streets with duplicate names. They say the project is to get rid of confusion when emergency responders are sent out on 9-1-1 calls. "In a 911 event every second counts and we're trying to cut down every second we can, by making the best system that we can," said Offield. Officials are reviewing streets like, Bois D' Arc drive on the east side, which is twenty miles away from the other Bois D' Arc drive on the west side of Gilmer.
In the case of a fire, dispatchers would have to know specifically which address to go to and homeowner David Tackett says it could produce some huge problems for emergency responders. "It could be a disaster, people lives could be lost because of that," said Tackett.
If city officials change the road names, residents would have a new address, which could pose more problems for residents, who've had their address for years. "It would be an inconvenience for us, as far as changing the address," said Tackett. "Of course it would cause problems and concerns, and they should have realized that to begin with, and not wait until twenty years latter," said homeowner, Harlon Haw.
We asked officials what brought about the need to change duplicate road and street names, that have been here for years and they said its because they're upgrading their emergency computer system. "We're moving into a technological world where computers tell us where to go and what to do. We want to make sure that there's no duplicate errors in our computer system," said Offield.
Hopefully, for residents county officials can make changes, before it's to late.
LaKecia Shockley, reporting. firstname.lastname@example.org