PENOBSCOT COUNTY – Most of us have had to turn down the radio and drive below the speed limit looking for a certain address, but sometimes emergency responders have the same problem finding houses.
When you call for help, you hope it will get to you as quickly as possible.
“The very first question we ask on everyone’s call is what’s the address of the emergency,” said Josh Lilley, the deputy director of the Penobscot Regional Communications Center. “We can’t help you if we can’t get the responders to you.”
If your house isn’t easily marked, it can be difficult for first responders to find your address.
“When it’s the time of the call and we get the address. That’s our first key. Find the address,” said Lt. Derrick Antworth, a full-time firefighter at the Orrington Fire Department. “A lot of times they aren’t well labeled, snowbanks are up high, some people don’t even have them.”
While they can use technology to find your location, it adds to the response time.
“When we come across the address last minute, it’s oops, got to turn back around,” Antworth continued. “Especially when the person is in need, seconds really count.”
So what can you do to help them help you? Make sure your house number is clearly visible.
Antworth recommends numbers that are at least three inches tall and stand out enough to see from a distance.
“In emergency situations, time is critical,” Lilley said. “Any time spent looking for the address is time spent not working on the emergency.”
Most town offices in Penobscot County sell reflective numbers.
If yours doesn’t, you can get them a local hardware store.