911 having trouble with missing house numbers, street signs - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

911 having trouble with missing house numbers, street signs

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

SHARP COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - In Sharp County, EMS officials are having issues with homeowners not having the correct house numbers or house numbers on their homes that are visible from the street.

Even though the new numbers were issued when the 911 system was installed, the numbers are still a problem. Many of the rural homes may have a mailbox from a previous address that has been simply pulled up and re-located to the new address. The number may or may not correspond to 911 records.

Those faulty addresses can cause problems for emergency crews. Dick Lloyd is the Sharp County Fire Services Coordinator says that sometimes they have to wait for a good Samaritan.

Lloyd," Sometimes we're out there with the ambulance and we just can't find it and finally someone will come along and say are you looking for so and so and they will lead us into it."

Driving the backroads following a Martin Creek Fire Truck to a brush fire; it is easy to see how this could happen. And to further complicate matters not only are houses not numbered correctly.

"We've had some instances where some people don't even have an address in the county." Says Sgt. Ken Guidry a detective with the Sharp County Sheriff's Department. Amongst other duties he assigns addresses. Guidry says he usually waits until someone needs and address and applies. Once the new address is given the 911 data base is updated.

Also, as in many counties, street signs seem to disappear as fast as they go up. A $1000 reward has been offered and  surveillance cameras are posted to stop the vandalism.

Sheriff Mark Counts says arrests have been made but they are posting cameras if it becomes a safety issue.

Counts, "To watch that area if it's one where a repeat sign has been stolen. "

A county Ordinance 94-2 says numbers on a house must be clearly visible and readable from the road. If the house is too far off the numbers must be posted on a mailbox or post by the road.

Obviously getting all the addresses squared away in the county will not be solved overnight. Guidry says there are residents who want no part of having any kind of address or will insist on keeping their old one because all their paperwork is attached to that address.

Sheriff Counts says the wheels are turning following Monday's Quorum Court meeting.

Counts, " We will see what we can do to address the problems of people that don't have the addressing up that's visible."

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