Visible house numbers important for emergency response time

Visible house numbers important for emergency response time

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Could good lawn care save your life?

It can if first responders are unable to find your house because of overgrown shrubbery.

Dunklin County dispatchers sent out a Facebook message about how to shave valuable seconds off of response times.

Something as small as a mailbox or home missing a number could ultimately put your safety on the line.

"You know we have officers who mention it every day," said Cape Girardeau police officer Darin Hickey. "They say, either I couldn't find the house or I think I'm on scene..."

When first responders can't find your home it wastes valuable time.

Which is why officials stress the importance of a visible address either on your mailbox or home.

"30 seconds may not mean a whole lot to you, but when it could mean life or death, when it could be a medical emergency or someone could be breaking into your home, that 30 seconds is a big deal," Hickey said.

It's a problem officers deal with in the city, but for ambulances headed out into the county it's even more of a problem.

"Once you go down a county road, if you're mailbox isn't marked on both sides or can't be easily seen, we may go 2 or 3 miles before we see another house due to farmer fields and things like that," said Cape County Private Ambulance Operations Manager Sam Herndon. "So it could really delay your care."

Displaying your house number probably isn't at the top of your mind, but it is for first responders.

"Think about it from our point of view or from an ambulances point of view. As you're pulling up to your house, look where your numbers are at," said Officer Hickey.

He advises you to make sure house numbers are clear of brush, numbers aren't missing and that the address is well lit at night.

If your mailbox is one that could use a little work, you can find stickers for just a few dollars at most stores.

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