WALTON COUNTY Fla. (WMBB)– When a life is on the line the worst thing that can happen is for a first responder to get lost.
A new program in Walton County aims to help first responders arrive quicker to an emergency, but they need participation.
“If we can’t find you in a timely manner then time is precious,” said Walton County Fire Rescue Training Chief Jeremy Radney.
Seconds can feel like hours in an emergency. In the past WCFR and paramedics have come across problems locating the right house due to a lack of house numbers.
“It will be side by side but you just don’t know so you will go knock on the door and they will be like, no emergency here,” said Radney. “And you go to the next one to find the right house.”
WCFR Training Chief Jeremy Radney said hunting for the right house is the last thing firefighters need to be worried about. After voicing concerns, WCSO received a grant of $17 thousand from Emerald Coast Healthcare Coalition to install locator signs.
“When you are coming down one of these back roads, especially in the more rural areas in the north end of the county,” he said. “Your headlights will hit these reflective lettering and you will be able to say, “oh there it is.”
Funding will allow for one thousand signs.
“Everybody has noticed it already,” said Freeport Resident Susan Rau.
She said it is hard to find her house, especially at night.
“I saw how confusing it was for them to try and get in here or try to figure out where they were supposed to be going,” said Rau.
Rau said although they have not had any emergencies since installing the signs, she has already seen this sign at work. UPS drivers and FedEx trucks have been able to find her location a lot faster.
Radney encourages all to ‘Sign Up and Stand Out’ for free.
“I’d like to have it at every house if I could,” said Radney.
Rau encourages all residents in Walton to sign up. Visit the WCSO for more information on instructions.