With the majority of Huntsville’s year-round and seasonal residents home during the summer months, the Town of Huntsville is taking the opportunity to educate residents about the importance—potentially lifesaving—of having a 911 address sign at the end of their driveway.
Summer is an ideal time to review signage since there is no frozen ground or large snowbanks to contend with.
“Town staff wanted to educate and inform our community on the importance of 911 civic addressing signage,” said Margaret Stead, Manager of Corporate Information with the Town of Huntsville. “It provides a location reference for all emergency services such as fire, police and ambulance to your property and to your neighbours’ properties. There are many examples when the person calling 911 for assistance cannot tell the dispatcher the correct address if the 911 system is incorrect. Examples include domestic violence, someone choking, a child calling 911, or a visitor not being familiar with the area. Proper number sequencing and clear signage is crucial for first responders to promptly locate a person in need, either at your property or your neighbour’s.”
Part-time firefighters staffed by the Town are all too familiar with the difficulties of locating rural addresses when there’s a lack of 911 signage. There have been a number of recent calls where crews were delayed in responding to an emergency because there was a lack of 911 signage.
“When a call comes in for a child choking or an adult having a heart attack, you feel the pressure to respond as quickly as possible and when you can’t find the address you feel as though you’re letting the patient down and they’re suffering longer than necessary,” said firefighter Mandi Hargrave. “We’re trained to react quickly and efficiently in emergency situations to help those in need; not being able to find the address delays crucial medical treatment when every minute counts.”
911 number signage is the responsibility of the property owner. The 911 number sign can be either a blue reflective number sign located at the driveway entrance or a more decorative number sign posted on the building if it is within 20 metres of the road centerline. Both need to be clearly visible from the road.
The blue reflective 911 number signs and metal posts are available for purchase through the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department, but owners are encouraged to contact Stead first, to determine what the correct civic address should be.
“A property owner or tenant can contact myself to review, determine or confirm what the civic address should be,” said Stead. “Information can then be provided to the owner or tenant about where to obtain the blue reflective number signs as well as information for mail delivery services. Having an accurate, clearly visible 911 number sign posted on properties that are used on a regular basis is required by the Town’s Municipal 911 Civic Addressing Bylaw 2016-36.”
Stead can be reached at email@example.com or call 705-789-1751 ext. 2243.
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