Community Responder and Co-Ordinator for Framlingham & District.
Some practical tips to help us find you in an Emergency.
Since becoming a community responder one of the things I have noticed when attending call outs is the number of houses with either no house name / number on display or one that is poorly marked. Therefore I would to offer a few for ways to help an Ambulance crew/Paramedic or First Responder find your house as easily as possible, something which is even harder to do now the days are drawing in and we are therefore attending more calls when its dark.
1) MAKE SURE YOUR NUMBER IS LARGE ENOUGH TO BE SEEN FROM THE ROAD. It should be at least 80mm/3.5” tall. Make your house name as visible as "No Parking" signs!
2) IF POSSIBLE PLACE YOUR NAME OR NUMBER ON A WALL OR GATEPOST NEXT TO THE ROAD RATHER THAN ON THE DOOR. Numbers on doors can be too far from the road to be seen. Many houses have doors on the side so the number cannot be seen from the road at all.
3) CUT BACK FOLIAGE REGULARLY SO THAT YOUR NUMBER CAN BE SEEN CLEARLY. Bushes can hide the number, especially during the spring and summer months.
4) ENSURE THAT YOUR NUMBER STANDS OUT. Black against a white background or white against a black background are the best. Lack of contrast hinders crews especially at night.
5) HELP YOUR NEIGHBOURS MAKE THEIR NUMBERS VISIBLE.
We'll be able to find YOUR house quicker if THEIR houses are clearly numbered by following the number sequence along the street.
6) ENCOURAGE YOUR LOCAL SHOPKEEPERS TO PUT THE STREET NUMBER ON THEIR SHOP FRONT. Remember Ambulance crews & some of our Responders don’t live locally & shops make good landmarks for them.
Although the Ambulances are fitted with Satellite Navigation Systems, they will sometimes only take you to the rough area of the call, which if heavily populated with houses still leaves them (and us) to find the address. Speaking from the point of view of a responder please remember for every minute we spend looking for a house which is poorly marked or unmarked, that’s one minute lost from our time advantage of being nearby which in the cases of a cardiac arrest could prove critical. Another tip is to have somebody looking out for the Ambulance or Responder to arrive, however this should not be done if leaving the patient on their own puts them at further risk.
In closing my message is a simple one. If your house name or number is not CLEARLY displayed, preferably from the road, then one night yours could be the motionless body that we find in the unmarked house, 30 MINUTES TOO LATE!