Paramedics say unclear addresses could cost lives - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Paramedics say unclear addresses could cost lives

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October 21, 2003

Albany- Time is of the essence for emergency responders, but if the address on your house is worn off or obstructed you're making their jobs harder.

"It's frustrating and it can mean the difference in somebody's life," says Sam Allen of Dougherty County EMS.

Paramedics say most Dougherty Countians aren't doing a good job displaying numerical addresses.

"A lot of times the numbers are pieces of numbers only, there's bushes in front of them, or somebody will put dark digit numbers on a dark door and it blends in and especially at night time, it's terrible," Allen adds.

As people begin to decorate their homes for the holidays, the problem gets worse.

"If they will just take a minute and walk out in front of the house and make sure that their ID to the house is identified we can them find them, but when you put Christmas decorations in front of the numbers we're back to square one, we can't locate you."

Not only are you putting your life in danger, but you're breaking the law.

"Those numbers would have to be four inches in height if it's on the building or two inches in height on a mailbox," says Chief Code Enforcement Officer Robert Carter.

Code enforcement officers uphold the county ordinance when it comes to displaying house numbers. In addition to size, numbers must be on either a sign or mailbox, or on or near the front door.

They also must be of a contrasting color to the background they are affixed to. If you're caught in violation, officers will send you a compliance letter.

"If they still don't comply within ten of the date we do the notice a summons can be issued and they can appear in court, and after the ten days expire on the notice each additional day can be charged as a separate violation," explains Carter.

On top of that a judge can tack on up to $213.00 in fines, a big price to pay for not doing something that could end up saving your life.

Posted at 4:30 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com