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Lack of house numbers a concern

EMS personnel troubled by missing address numbers

Area emergency personnel are pleading with residents to post their house numbers prominently on their homes and mail boxes.

Area emergency personnel are pleading with residents to post their house numbers prominently on their homes and mail boxes.

— Area emergency personnel are pleading with residents to post their house numbers prominently on their homes and mail boxes.

“When we get dispatched we are given an address,” explained Mark Barber, captain of the Ticonderoga Emergency Squad. “Sometimes we have a name, but even if we do we don’t always know that person or where they live. When we respond to a call, we’re looking for a house number.”

They don’t always find it.

“There have been many times we couldn’t find a number and driven right past a house,” Barber said. “Then we either get a call saying we drove past or we stop at a house and knock on a door asking if they know who needs an ambulance.”

Posting a number on a home or mail box isn’t enough, Barber stressed. It has to be large enough to be visible.

“If we can’t see it, it’s of no help,” Barber said. “Nighttime is a big problem. And sometimes, the numbers are on a house, but they’re covered by plants or ornaments.”

Don Jaquish, Essex County director of emergency services, said missing house numbers is a big problem throughout the county.

“It’s a huge problem,” Jaquish said. “Compliance is lacking, to be sure.”

Besides being a good idea, having a visible number for emergency personnel is a law in Essex County. The law was adopted when the country went to a 911 emergency dispatch system, according Jaquish.

That law reads “It shall be the responsibility of every person who owns, uses or occupies any structure to display address numbers in compliance with the following:

“A number shall be prominently placed in the front (road side) of every house or structure having a separate address number.

“Mail boxes shall be marked with the house/structure number if the box is in front of and on the same side of the street as the house/structure.

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