A few numbers and letters on the front of a home or business can be a valuable tool during an emergency situation.
It can help save time when seconds matter, and it is an ordinance in the Hub City.
“If you have those numbers posted outside a home or business, then there’s no guesswork, and there visible to whoever is responding to that emergency call,” Forrest County Emergency Management Deputy Director and 911 Coordinator Debbie Windham said. “It helps tremendously, it cuts down on the seconds that they can get the help to those people.”
These numbers not only benefit emergency responders, but are crucial for people who are not familiar with an area and may need to call for help.
“It’s vital, because if the first responders are called, or an ambulance, it’s so important that they find the correct location and that can get confusing,” Hattiesburg Ward 4 City Councilwoman Mary Dryden said. “For people who are in a location with which they are unfamiliar, if something happens and they need to call the first responders they need to be able to quickly find out and identify their location to share that.”
Windham said the numbered addressing is something she has encouraged people to do for years.
“One of the most important things is to have on a house or business is those numbers either above your door, or in a real legible place on your house,” Windham said. “It is important, very important because when you have the police, fire or ambulance trying to find your home, if the mailbox is labeled, and if the house or the business is labeled, it makes it a lot easier and in the 911 world, it's seconds that count.”
Some buildings in the city have more than one business and are generally broken into suites, which makes it difficult for responders.
“It can be just one large building, but its suited out, and it’s important to have that main number posted over the door plus the suite number, cause that also cuts down on time for whoever is responding to that call,” Windham said.
Windham said you can purchase the numbers and letters at any local hardware store.