Crews ask for better signage

PUBLISHED: 12:09 01 November 2007 | UPDATED: 21:50 29 May 2010

Ambulance service wants to treat you!

Ambulance service wants to treat you!

THE ambulance service has issued a stark warning to people who fail to display clearly visible house numbers – If we can t find you, we can t treat you. The clocks went back by an hour on Saturday; a sure sign that the daylight hours are getting shorter

THE ambulance service has issued a stark warning to people who fail to display clearly visible house numbers - 'If we can't find you, we can't treat you.'

The clocks went back by an hour on Saturday; a sure sign that the daylight hours are getting shorter, and another obstacle that ambulance crews have to overcome when trying to find a house in an emergency.

Steve Wheaton, Essex locality officer for the East of England Ambulance Service said: "Two or three minutes spent looking for a patient's house could mean their number is well and truly up.

"For a patient in cardiac arrest, every minute saved is absolutely vital to their chances of survival.

"For the sake of spending £5 on a sign or five minutes cleaning or clearing around your existing numbers, it's surely worth it.

"The problem is particularly bad in rural areas, where crucial seconds or minutes can be lost driving up and down long roads looking for non existent or hidden numbers or names."

As the daylight hours fade the problem of finding the right house in an emergency is exacerbated, but there are a number of ways the public can help crews identify their location, said Jim Flynn at the Emergency Operations Centre.

"Leaving on the car's hazard lights; giving details of landmarks or known buildings over the phone; or even obtaining their home's map grid reference can all help," he said.

The house number should be large enough to be seen from the road and if possible it should be on a wall or gate post next to the road. Ensure that the number stands out - black on white or vice versa is best, and cut back foliage regularly so it can be seen.

"The technology we have in control rooms makes it easier for us to get correct addresses, and satellite navigation on ambulances helps

crews to find their way there, but

once they get there they need to be able to find the right house straight away," said Mr Flynn.

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