|STREET NAMES MISLEADING|
ASKING DIRECTIONS 7-16-14 LMS
The one time no one wants to stop and ask directions is when driving an ambulance rushing to answer an emergency call.
At its July 16 meeting, City/County 911 Street and Address Coordinator Polly Anderson and Lemhi County Emergency Services Coordinator and Emergency Medical Technician Janet Nelson told the Salmon City Council of problems being caused by duplicate names of noncontiguous streets and deceptive street names that are actually alleys. Anderson said Emergency Services personnel are having problems locating some homes on the bar as well as in other areas of town where the streets are not consecutive or have access from two different locations. She said she has compiled a list of roads and streets that need to be renamed in order to be more easily found.
Anderson provided maps of the problem areas and some suggested name change ideas including simply adding a north, south, east or west to the street’s name.
Nelson said in many cases if the emergency vehicle doesn’t use the closest access to an address it has to go a long way around at a time when as little as three minutes can make the difference between life or death. Because of the name similarities GPS units can show a location that is as much as a block off target.
It was acknowledged any changes to current street names will mean paperwork for residents however the payoff is possibly saving a life or a home since the location problems apply to all emergency services vehicles including fire department engines. Of equal importance is the resident’s responsibility to make sure homes display easy to read street numbers.
Anderson will send letters to residents in areas affected during the name change process. Mayor Leo Marshall suggested a guest appearance on KSRA’s Voice of the Valley to explain why some street name changes are so important for emergency services personnel and the people they are rushing to assist.
The City Council will study the maps and information presented and consider the proposed changes.
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