First responders remind residents about importance of clearly displayed addresses

First responders remind residents about importance of clearly displayed addresses
Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 5:26 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 27, 2022 at 11:27 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Minutes matter when responding to an emergency. East Texas first responders are reminding property owners to be sure they have visible numbers that clearly show their address, so crews can easily find them in a time-sensitive situation.

Scratched, old or totally missing numbers on mailboxes create a delay when first responders are getting to an emergency. Interim Smith County Fire Marshal Chad Hogue said sometimes it can be difficult to find addresses.

“Especially when there’s multiple residences on a private driveway or something like that. It would be best to have addresses marked: the numbers marked for all residences on the end of the driveway where you can see it from both sides would be beneficial,” Hogue said.

Shawn Salter is the chief administrative officer at Christus EMS and Flight for Life. He said it’s important for people to know their 911 address, and if they aren’t sure of it, to reach out to their local 911 authority.

“You want to make certain that those numbers are large enough that they can be seen by a vehicle passing by. We really encourage that they be reflective so that they’re more easily seen during nighttime,” Salter said.

Dispatchers try to ask the caller for specific information if they live in a complex or are located in a building with multiple offices.

“If your apartment has a front porch light, something as simple as flipping on and off the front porch light so it brings visibility to where you are at,” Salter said.

Hogue said this could be the difference between displacing a family or being able to get a fire out with minimal damage.

“Time is of the essence, and the fire department, EMS, everybody tries to get there in a timely manner, so there’s a few little things that can be done to help speed that along,” Hogue said.

To ensure all emergency vehicles can make it to your house, Hogue said for those with gates, a good rule of thumb is to be sure they are at least 12-feet wide and 13-feet tall.