• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Displaying numbered addresses help first-responders

People living in rural areas of Woodford County are being reminded that fire gate numbers are very helpful to first-responders, but they are not a substitute for displaying numbered addresses to pinpoint a location during an emergency, addressing coordinator Kenneth Johns said. He said it’s vitally important for county residents who live on private lanes with more than one home to display address numbers at the driveway approaching each house so first-responders can clearly identify where they’re needed. No matter what public safety agency is responding to an emergency, Versailles Police Chief Mike Murray said, “You try to minimize the delays as much as you can. And a place that’s visibly marked certainly prevents that.” A numbered address along the public road helps a letter carrier deliver the mail, but does not identify a home on a private lane where first-responders are dispatched for an emergency, Johns said. Without a numbered address, he said, “Somebody … has to be out there to flag them down or (first-responders have) to go door to door until (they) figure it out.” Because every residence has its own unique circumstances, Johns said residents need to ask themselves, “Where could you best see an address at three o’clock in the morning in the most torrential, earth-shattering thunderstorm that you could possibly imagine?” Ordinances for the cities of Midway and Versailles and a third for Woodford County explain the requirements for displaying street numbers at a residence. The ordinances require numbers (at three inches high and one-half inch wide) to be clearly visible and legible from public or private streets and roads so they can be seen by first-responders in emergency vehicles – coming from either direction. Anyone who fails to comply with the ordinances is subject to penalties, but that’s not why Johns and Murray wanted to remind residents of these requirements. It’s to better ensure their family’s safety in an emergency, they said.

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