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Sheriff's Corner

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By The Staff

Once you have summoned help, you want the emergency responders to find you quickly. It doesn't matter what you need - Law Enforcement, Fire Department, or Ambulance Service - they all have to find the house first! The old saying about "following the smoke to the fire" doesn't work.

When you dial 9-1-1 it means you need help now, so I wanted to give out some helpful information that will help us find you. Sometimes in the gated communities, people will call the gate guard or Neighborhood Watch when they see something suspicious or need help. We suggest always calling 9-1-1 first and talk directly to the call taker who can immediately begin to dispatch the necessary help. Then call Neighborhood Watch to advise them of your situation.

Having to call 9-1-1 can be a stressful situation and the caller may be confused or even hysterical, making it difficult for the call taker to get the necessary information. To help with this, keep an easy to read list next to each phone with your quadrant address and phone number on it.

When you call 9-1-1 expect a call taker to ask you questions such as your name, address, and phone number. Some times you may get agitated with the caller taker asking questions, thinking that help is not enroute until this information is obtained. I would like to assure you that emergency help is being sent the very minute we received the 9-1-1 call. Most people want to know why this is necessary, since the information is on the screen automatically. Well, you may be reporting an emergency that is not at your address, such as an automobile accident that happened three miles from your house. There is also that possibility of errors on the computer screen. So we try to verify the screen information to make sure we have accurate information when dispatching the appropriate emergency services.

Many people live in areas, which are confusing for others to find. We recommend having written driving directions from a well known intersection to your house, and then test your driving directions.

Your house numbers are another sure way of helping us find you. Make sure they are at least 3" high and mounted on your house in a contrasting color. If your residence is more than 50' from the road, you should have a sign by your driveway entrance with your house numbers. I would like to remind you that posting your address is also a county ordinance.

I hope that you never have a 9-1-1 emergency to call in, but if you do I'm confident that these suggestions will assist you in getting the help you need. If you do not have an emergency I would ask that you not call 9-1-1 and call the non emergency number which is 352-486-5111 or 1-800-538-9767.