Letter: They can’t help you if they can’t find you

First responders (fire, rescue and law enforcement personnel) in Rappahannock County have a difficult time navigating our rural, winding roads to get to an emergency and their efforts are further complicated by the lack of visible 911 addressing on homes and driveways.

An example of the sort of visible addressing the county is requesting are the custom-made reflective signs offered as part of an ongoing fund-raising effort by the Castleton Volunteer Fire Department. These sell for $15. Rappahannock News Staff Photo/Jan Clatterbuck.

Most homes and driveways in the county are not properly marked with reflective address numbers and, at night in particular, finding the site of an emergency can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

To ease their frustration, and to reduce often critical response time, the Rappahannock County administrator is asking all residents and business owners to mark driveways, homes and businesses with reflective address numbers three inches in height, mounted on a contrasting background.

In addition, if the structure is not visible from the road or private lane, please place an address number as described above to mark the entranceway to it. If you live on a private lane and share a driveway, make sure you mark the point at which the driveways split to show which numbered structures may be found each way.

If you have an emergency, the reflective numbers on a contrasting background will permit emergency response personnel to clearly see the address from several hundred feet away. If there are only small, dark numbers, without any contrast, precious minutes may be lost trying to find you and yours when in need.

The Board of Supervisors also considered but does not wish to enact an ordinance requiring address-marking and is instead urgently seeking your voluntary cooperation to properly mark your home or business and driveway entrance over the coming months. If voluntary compliance is substantially successful, such an ordinance would be unnecessary.

Personal property taxpayers in the county will shortly be receiving an informational brochure in the mail about 911 addressing that you may wish to consult for more information.

Please help our emergency personnel, and yourself, by installing reflective numbers as soon as possible.

John W. McCarthy
Rappahannock County Administrator

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