Help Us to Help You!
Some things to do to ensure a faster response ...
Christmas dinner had been joyfully polished off by your house full of guests. Everyone retreats to the living room to watch the kids play with their gifts and spend some time together. You look over at Grandpa, who has been unusually quiet for a short while, grab his chest and collapse in his chair. This obviously is a medical emergency. You quickly dial 9-1-1 to get some help.
Although a dramatic scenario, this is quite realistic. Maybe you have already encountered such an event. Now you place your faith in the responders who are dispatched to help. That is where we come in. You expect the fire department and ambulance to arrive as fast as possible to help Grandpa. Below are a few suggestions to help us get to you faster:
HAVE YOUR HOUSE WELL MARKED FROM THE ROAD
Some people have numbers attached to their house, which at night, blend in to the shadows, paint, and various yard decor adorning your yard. A well-marked mail box is a better option. As seen from this example by Interstate Sign Products, having a clearly marked address is one of the best ways for us to find you in the event of your emergency. The sign you see is approximately 10 dollars, comes with all of the numbers and the green, reflective sign. All that is required on your part is about 10 minutes of time to put it together and a couple screw or zip ties to affix it to your mailbox. Similar signs can be purchased from AMCVFD, Wal-Mart, Target, or K-Mart.
HAVE SOMEONE COME OUTSIDE AND MEET US
Obviously, keep them safely out of the roadway itself, but have them ready (with a flashlight if at night) to get our attention as we drive down the road.
IF YOU CANNOT SEND SOMEONE TO THE ROAD, TURN THE OUTSIDE LIGHTS ON AT NIGHT
Some people are not as mobile as they used to be. Have the front porch lights on, or have someone flashing them. Our thought is if the lights are off, that house is full of sleeping people, and not having an emergency.
GIVE GOOD DIRECTIONS
The old approach, "next to the old Johnson Farm," might help some of the older responders get to you, but it might be better to have more solid directions. The third house on the left, red brick house with a green pickup in the yard, big American flagpole out front might be better. Give some real distinguishing characteristics to help us find our way.
I hope this helps those of you who read this. Helping us help you can ensure a faster, more desirable response out of the emergency services. It just might determine if Grandpa sees the next Christmas dinner.