Thomas County 911 Cracking Down

EMS workers say it's a lesson in tough love that could save lives. Thomas County EMS workers are ready to respond in case of any emergency, but they can't prepare for the house hunts they're often forced to make.

Elizabeth and Harry Kessner have their address clearly displayed and say, "You have a house number, you have a street address, but you'll spin your wheels trying to find it and knocking on doors trying to find out who lives where."

A law has been in place since 1993 requiring street addresses to be displayed on both sides of a mailbox and on the house. E-911 officials say now if you don't comply, you can expect a $50 fine.

When an emergency is called in in Thomas County, the caller's name and address appears automatically on the dispatcher's screen, but E-911 officers say if a house number isn't prominently displayed, EMS workers may not get to an emergency in time.

Granvil Jones, Thomas County 911 Addressing Officer, says, "It's a shame that we send it out there and you're laying on the floor needing an ambulance and they're driving up and down the street looking for your house because you don't have your number up."

911 officers say they mean business and they're out enforcing now. They say a $50 fine may not be fun, but if it saves a life, it's money well spent.

911 officials say house numbers must be at least three inches in height; business numbers must be at least four inches. If your street address is displayed but is obscured in any way, you may also be fined.

For more information on the policy, call the 911 Addressing Office at 227-3242.