The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Please send an ambulance...where?

By Sally Day, For The Quill

"Please send an ambulance right away," she said, trying to keep her voice from trembling.

"What is your name and address?" the voice on the other end of the line responded.

"Pam Culpepper and I live east of town. Please hurry, it's my husband. I think he is having a heart attack!," she exclaimed.

"What is your address?," the young man repeated.

"You know that road just before you go under the railroad road bridge? Turn there. Drive a mile or so down the road and it is a white farm house," she said rapidly and in desperation.

"Ma'am, I need your address," he pleaded.

"The Applegates used to live here. You know, the white farm house just past the curve."

Nearly all the farm houses are white. And, directions can be confusing.

You get the picture. It is so hard for people to communicate when your address is unknown to you and public safety - be it police or fire department or ambulance. The frustrations for everyone involved is very great.

Other than the Sheriff's Department itself, it is doubtful that every deputy and/or dispatcher knows every location and person who lives there.

Now this conversation is fictional, but conversations like this have happened again and again at the Henderson County Sheriff's Department, which is the public's first line of defense in emergencies.

Why? Because Henderson County does not have rural addressing....yet.

Plans are in the works for the county to begin the process for rural addressing....and Thank Goodness!

Anyone having ever had to deal with this, totally understands the need for rural addressing.

Soon rural addressing will become a reality. Brightly colored signage will display the addresses.

Perhaps even locations without homes on them will be addressed. Places where there are outbuildings, like silos and bins will be addressed. Why? If there happens to be an accident or a reason for emergency services to need to go to these locales, there should be addressing there, as well.

It is not just the importance of a need for addressing for emergency departments, but it is also necessary for rural identification of homes and/or residents for delivered packages. I have personally had the UPS driver or the rural postal deliverer ask me where someone lives. How else would they know? They have to ask.

Is it going to cost the county? Yes. But it is a true need.

And this action will not expose the county or its residents to less privacy. The government, or even the internet already knows where you are. You don't believe me? Look up any property on Google Earth.

This can only be a win-win situation for all. It will mean faster response times for emergency personnel and packages should find there way into the right hands.