Lack of response could cost lives

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By Alice Du Pont

All of the roads in Gadsden County now have names, but more than 1,000 people have not placed numbers at the entrances to their properties.

Last week, Sheriff Morris Young responded to a call but was unable to find the house. The residence was in a rural setting located off a main road but because numbers were not erected, he never made contact with the citizen.

"We need citizens to put house numbers at the end of the drive next to the mailbox. It's hard for an emergency vehicle to get to them if we can't find them. A lot of the places we're having trouble with are two-rut roads going back to trailers. When we can't find them they get angry and want to sue the county," said the county's DeVane Mason, 911 director.

The aim, Mason said, is not to harass citizens but rather to provide for their safety. Displaying numbers at the driveway entrance can save seconds and a life is worth every second, Mason said.

In 1995 the county passed an ordinance establishing a county-wide street naming and addressing system which called for naming all roadways and posting street signs and numbers assigned to all dwellings. The ordinance was enacted to assist emergency service agencies, the postal service and the citizens of Gadsden County.

The sign and visibility of the numbers should be 4 inches high and contrast with the background. The sign needs to be visible in the middle of the night and seen from both directions, according to Mason.

"This is just a reminder that we really need them to put their signs and numbers out," Young said.

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