NOXUBEE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- It’s a scary feeling for Debora Etling, knowing an ambulance or fire truck can’t find her street. That’s because it was a reality last year when her neighbor suffered a heart attack.
“It took forever for them to get there. When they were called they could not find our road. It seems our road was not on the GPS log,” said Etling.
Just last month, it happened again.
“This time it took over 27 minutes. The dispatch told them they had no way of getting in touch with the people on the ambulance and that made it even worse because they had no contact,” said Etling.
For nearly two years, Noxubee County Supervisors and the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District have been working to update addresses throughout the area.
“We’ve had problems across the country, locating various addresses and we thought it was the utmost to look out for our constituents. So many times people say ‘Why is Noxubee County so far behind. It’s time for a change,” said District 5 Supervisor Bruce Brooks.
“We went out and mapped every structure by GPS and we came back and we created a digital map of all of this information. From that information, we also took a picture while we were there, so that if person were to dial 911 that picture would show up at the 911 office,” said Thomas Sanford, GIS Manager for Golden Triangle Planning & Development.
Homeowners & Businesses are now receiving a postcard in the mail, informing them of their new address. It will take some time to work out the kinks before the new system begins.
“About 75% of Noxubee County had to change addresses. They were out of order, there were odds on the wrong side, evens on the wrong side. So we went in, we mapped them, we created a logical order by the national standard for addressing,” said Sanford.
Etling is ready for the new 911 mapping system. She believes it’s a matter of life and death.
“I hope people can understand, putting up with a little number change or something is a small price to pay for what we need to have done in the county,” said Etling.
Noxubee County leaders urge everyone to respond to the new address postcards. That will help the process move much faster.