Firefighter: ‘We Can’T Help You If We Can’T Find You’


It’s the middle of the night and a medical emergency occurs at your home.

You call for help and hear the sirens approaching but they pass your home. Several minutes later, they return. What happened? Emergency personnel could not find your home because your house numbers are not visible.

The Payson Fire Department is challenging homeowners to step outside of their home and check that their numbers are easily visible from the street and if you don’t have numbers, install some on your mailbox or home.

“One of the most frustrating situations for emergency responders is not being able to find someone who needs help when we are called,” said Toby Waugh, Payson Fire Department Captain.

“Despite valiant efforts of personnel, good maps and a familiarity with the area, we do not have some magical ability to know which house is yours unless it is addressed and marked properly.”

Waugh added that emergency personnel can receive the best training and have the best equipment in the world but it may not make any difference if they cannot find you.

“The weak link in the 911 system may be the fact that homeowners do not have their addresses posted where they can be found quickly in an emergency both day and night.”

If you need help with posting your address or just want it checked, call the PFD at (928) 474-5242 x 300.

Ways to make your address more visible:

• Make sure numbers can be seen from the road in both directions

• Use reflective numbers, or on a contrasting background

• Use numbers no smaller than 3 inches

• Clear vegetation


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.