Properly Displaying Address Important For Emergency Responders

block-house-473702_1280-1024x682BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) — When you need help at your home or camp, having an easily identifiable address can be the difference between life and death.

First responders such as fire companies, ambulance services, police, or others that are working to get help to people need to know where they are headed as quickly as possible and when they arrive that they are at the correct location.

“The main purpose why we did this ordinance was to provide for quicker response in the event of an emergency situation,” Jefferson County Emergency Services Director Tracy Zents said.

“We want everyone to post their address. GPS is great technology, but it is not 100 percent accurate all the time, especially if someone lives back a long lane, and there are multiple buildings along it,” Zents said. “It is imperative that the address is posted and large enough so it can be seen from an emergency vehicle sitting along a street or road.”

“Even if it is posted at the end of a long driveway, it should still be displayed on the house or business. It is highly recommended that the numbers be at a minimum of 8 inches or higher.”


“A few years ago we ran into issues where the old rural route addresses were still on mailboxes, along with the new 9-1-1 address. This caused great confusion, and we did a campaign to educate our residents why it is important to remove the old rural route address.”

“We haven’t seem to have any issues with this as of late; however, we would still recommend that if residents still have the old rural route address posted, that they remove it.”

Posting your 911 address is very important for the emergency responders to find you.

Addresses are generally assigned for the numbers to grow larger as the road travels east or north. Additionally, odd numbers should be on the opposite side of the road from the even numbers.

These standards also help field responders find your location in the event of an emergency.

GPS units are useful in getting near a location, but they are not always 100 percent accurate.

By posting a 911 address, residents will be able to provide the responders a confirmation that they are at the correct house.

Check with your local municipality for requirements on 911 address posting. 

It’s important to know the address number, road name, and municipality (city, borough or township) because there are more than one Main Street addresses in the county.

There is no difference between a 911 address and a mailing address, unless someone receives mail at a post office box.

In the mid-1990s, 911 addressing was assigned. Since then, there have been extensive efforts to establish addresses at the county level.

Getting a 911 address in Jefferson County is just a matter of calling the GIS Department at 814-849-1694 or by emailing Director Seth Kerr at [email protected]

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