House Number

By: Jason Davis
By: Jason Davis

If you've ever waited for emergency help you know the minutes can feel like hours, but sometimes the responds time is longer because police, fire and EMS can't find a house number displayed on the home or driveway.

Twenty eight years ago getting emergency help wasn't easy. Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock remembers when there was no such thing as 9-1-1 and dispatchers had to rely on a caller for driving directions.

Bobby Haddock says, "This street, this dirt road, turn by this certain color home or the four oaks on the right side of the road, but now that everything is named properly and the number is displayed properly we can respond a lot faster."

Once you dial-9-1-1 these days technology allows the dispatcher to have your address in hand. It puts first responders on the scene in a matter of minutes, that is, if they can find your house.

Some residents don't properly display their address on their home or driveway because they feel it's an invasion of their privacy.

Jerry Brock, Washington County 911 Coordinator, says, “There are some people that told me to my face, ‘I will not display my address. The only reason you want my address is so the police can find me.’”

But having your address in plain sight helps you and your neighbors. The numeric sequence decreases the response time in case of an emergency.

Whether you're in Washington County, in Florida or somewhere else in the United States, people just don't realize the importance of displaying their 9-1-1 address, especially in times when every minute counts.

According to the National Emergency Number Association an estimated 200 million calls are made to 9-1-1 each year.


8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647
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