LANCASTER — The director of the regional 911 call center serving Lincoln County wants magistrates to approve an ordinance that would allow him to remedy thousands of problematic addresses he says could lead to delays in emergency responses.
Bluegrass 911 Director Russ Clark said there are areas in Lincoln County with dangerously inconsistent addresses that can make it hard for first responders to find callers.
A standard addressing practice today is to number houses based on their distance from the beginning of the road, meaning emergency responders can tell by house numbers how far they need to travel on any particular road.
But Clark said there are roads in Lincoln County where addresses that are thousands of numbers apart are within a few hundred feet of each other.
Other roads have numbers that start low in the middle and count up going in both directions.
And some Lincoln County roads have even numbers on the left and odd numbers on the right, while others are the opposite, Clark added.
On top of numbering issues, Clark said he doesn't like for his call center to have to deal with route numbers instead of common names for roads.
In all, Clark estimated there are 2,000 houses in Lincoln County with addresses that show up as "zeroes" in Bluegrass 911's system — meaning emergency responders could have trouble getting to the right place the first time.
Clark has provided Lincoln County Judge-Executive Jim Adams with an ordinance he would like Lincoln County Fiscal Court to pass that gives Bluegrass 911's board the authority to rename and readdress any street in Lincoln County outside Stanford city limits.
The ordinance would prohibit similarly-named streets and "confusing or unusual" spellings, and require a "uniform system of numbering."
Adams said he would bring the ordinance to Lincoln County magistrates. It was not a topic of discussion at Tuesday's fiscal court meeting.
Bluegrass 911 board member and Lincoln County Attorney Daryl Day said people may have objections to having their addresses changed, but the benefit of accurate addressing for emergency responders cannot be ignored.
"I think people would rather change their address than have the ambulance looking for them a mile away," he said.