ROGERSVILLE - In an emergency every second counts. The amount of time it takes for an ambulance, fire fighters or law enforcement personnel to respond to a 911 call can literally be a matter of life and death. State of the art technology at the Hawkins County Emergency Communications District dispatch center immediately locates a caller and tells dispatchers what agencies should respond to the call, but all to many Hawkins County residents still make it difficult for responding agencies to find the actual address. "We really need to stress the importance of having an address marked visibly from the road to direct emergency responders," Mapping Coordinator Brady Horton explained. The 911 center has teamed up with some local fire departments with a program that Horton hopes will benefit everyone, from homeowners to local fire departments - selling and installing address markers. "They are $15 a piece, double sided with with three-inch reflective numbers that can be seen at night," Horton explained. "Hawkins County 911 is selling the signs and organizing the fundraiser and the fire departments are installing the signs, all part of $15." The signs come in blue and orange, Horton added, with participating fire departments getting a share of the proceeds. Hawkins County homeowner Nick Cox recently purchased one of the signs after he had a close call at his Hipshire Hollow Road residence Cox noted that prior to December 20 he probably would have said no thanks to an offer to buy one of the address markers, even though he was aware that his residence "is tricky to find for anyone that is looking for it, from a pizza delivery to Fed-Ex." "On December 20, 2011, I had chimney fire occur at my house that soon began burning inside the wall. After calling 911 and having the fire department dispatched I felt a sense of ease that help was on the way, right up until I watched the first responder drive right past my house and on down the road," Cox explained. After finally locating the residence extinguishing the fire, Horton, who is also a member of the Striggersville Volunteer Fire Department, explained the address marker program and Cox became a customer. In addition to the need for more than just a small number on a mail box, the experience also gave Cox greater respect and appreciation for all fire fighters. "Until you witness a crew of fire fighters charge into your house, fully geared with hoses and axes you can't begin to imagine the emotional strain it can have on you. After all was said and done, I was amazed to see how little damage was caused due to the extra care taken by the Striggersville Fire Department," Cox said. Horton said for more information or to arrange the purchase of an address marker individuals should contact the 911 center, during normal business hours, at 272-8999.
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