Finding you in an emergency can literally be the difference between life and death. Emergency responders in Barron County often have difficulties identifying homes that are poorly marked. “It’s a tan house on the hill with a grey car in the driveway”. Why is that so difficult to find? Now think of that same house, that you’ve never visited, 100 yards from the road, surrounded by trees, in the middle of the night, with only your headlights to illuminate your way. Now, add some adrenaline because you know someone is having a heart attack and is depending on you to get there quickly.
How can you help? By making sure your address is properly posted, emergency responders such as police, fire, and ambulance can locate your home faster, saving critical time when responding to your emergency.
Important things to consider when posting your address:
1) Numbers should be posted at the roadway/driveway. Make sure to post your numbers high enough to avoid being covered by snow, shrubbery, or decorations.
2) Numbers should be placed on a post at the end of the driveway and should be visible from both directions. Numbers posted on mailboxes can be misleading because mailboxes are often grouped for postal convenience and/or located on the opposite side of the road.
Here are some frequently asked questions:
1) I have called 911 before and they had no problem finding me, so shouldn’t they be able to find me again? While most emergency responders are very familiar with the area, sometimes crews respond from a neighboring jurisdiction when your local crew is on another call. Remember, TIME IS CRITICAL, so time lost trying to find you could mean the loss of life and/or property.
2) I moved to another location, can I still use my old address? No. It is very dangerous to attempt to use your former address, as responders will go to your old location.
3) Am I required to maintain my rural address sign? Yes, to help responders find you in an emergency, Barron County ordinance requires rural address signs to be located adjacent to your driveway.
4) How do I get a rural address? Contact the Barron County Department of Land Services at 715-537-6375.
Mike Judy, Emergency Services
Barron County Sheriff's Department