Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. - South Walton Fire District took matters into their own hands, as you can see behind me there are no signs indicating that this is Blue Coral Cove. That's about to change, as South Walton Fire District is installing street signs themselves.
"In this particular neighborhood, we've had a couple of home fires. We've had medical calls in this particular neighborhood. The residents and our responders have had difficulty locating the residences because the lack of street signs," explained Rick Talbert, Fire Chief for South Walton Fire District.
"People have had some emergency vehicles have to come in, so, I think they will be pleased that we have better street addresses now," said Tim Tricker, The Pines resident.
There are both private and public streets in the South Walton community, which are maintained by the County Public Works Department. In the past, there has been discussion and debate, on who's responsibility it was for the signs.
"In this case, we felt like bureaucracy was inhibiting us from making sure the residence and visitors here could be responded to in a timely fashion. So, we took it into our own hands, obtained the signs from the County Public Works Department and we are putting them in ourselves," said Chief Talbert.
Talbert says, first responders don't have time to waste. Every single second counts and they can't second guess their destination or direction.
"In our area, whether you live here, you rent or you're just visiting, it's vital to know the street signs, street locations. So, you know where you are going in the neighborhood and secondly and most importantly, for us is so, our firefighters or first responders or deputies will know where they are going," explained Chief Talbert.
Now, when an emergency arises in The Pines neighborhood, first responders won't have to hesitate finding a way to get to those in critical need. The South Walton County Fire district installed a total of five signs in the pines at blue mountain beach neighborhood. First responders are optimistic that this will reduce their response time.
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