Fire department working to make responding to calls easier

By Abby Morris
Star Staff

   What would you do if there was an emergency in your home and emergency workers could not locate your home?
   Unfortunately, that situation occurs more frequently than it should, but a local volunteer fire department is working to help stop it from happening as often.
   According to Roger Lambert, assistant chief with the Stoney Creek Volunteer Fire Department, many times when emergency workers respond to calls, especially at night, it is difficult to see the residence's number on the home or on a mailbox.
   "The biggest problem is we can't find people in a life or death situation and the longer it takes to find someone, that could mean someone's life," he said. "The house numbers are good but at night it is difficult to see them." He added that many times the home either does not have numbers displayed or the numbers are displayed, but poorly visible.
   The Stoney Creek Volunteer Fire Department has started a program to help area residents properly label their homes so in the event an emergency arises, firefighters, paramedics or law enforcement officers will be able to quickly locate the residence. "What we're doing is selling address markers that affix to the mailbox or the post," Lambert said. "Actually, the Watauga Volunteer Fire Department started it and that's where we got the idea. There are other fire departments in the county looking into it but as far as I know they haven't started selling them yet."
   The sign that the department is selling is made of a green reflective material and has white reflective numbers affixed to it. The sign is also double-sided so that emergency workers will be able to identify the residence from either direction. "It not only benefits the fire department, but the rescue squad and law enforcement as well," Lambert said.
   The fire department is selling the signs for $15 and a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the department. "We are not looking at it as benefiting the fire department financially," Lambert said, adding that the main focus is to encourage residents to properly address their home.
   "If we could just get everyone to take a little time for this," Lambert said. "Hopefully they won't have to use them but in the long run it would help us to find them if we have to."
   Lambert stated that residents who wish to purchase a sign can pick up an order form from either of the two Stoney Creek Volunteer Fire Department stations or call 474-2001 and leave a message. The sale is open to anyone who wants to purchase an address marker, not just residents of the Stoney Creek community. According to Lambert, volunteers at the fire department will install the sign for elderly and disabled residents who wish to order one.