By Steve Sears
The Hackettstown First Aid and Rescue Squad is attempting to make it easier for their first responders to find your home when it’s dark outside or weather is inclement.
It’s a definite concern, one well-articulated on their website:
Time is our enemy. In an Emergency, locating the caller’s address as soon as possible is the first step in saving lives and property. Time wasted searching for the proper address is one thing many callers to 911 don’t have.
However, because many people do not have identifiable markings at their residence, there’s a big difference between knowing the address and finding the address. Unreadable addressing can slow emergency responder’s ability to find your address and it could be deadly to the resident because of the delays that result.
This problem has been recognized for years by public safety agencies, but the problem persists.
Together, we can minimize if not eliminate this chronic addressing problem. If you’ve seen the signs, you know what a big difference they do make.
The “signs” referred to are reflective signs, part of the “Help Us Find You” Reflective Address Signs campaign which was started approximately four years ago by past Chief, Jill Ficarra, who has been a member of the squad for 20 years. “I had brought the idea to the membership as I have seen it in other towns.”
The campaign is ongoing with no end date.
Fortunately, there were no critical instances that truly spurred the campaign to fruition. However, Ficarra did see a need to help find homes in a quicker fashion. “Having a clearly visible sign takes the guess work out off where we are pulling up to.”
The signs, which are highly visible both day and night, have reflective material on both sides, last for years because they are fade-resistant, and have pre-drilled holes for easier posting at the home.
The campaign has been warmly received by residents, who recognize that timing is critical when it comes to the Hackettstown First Aid and Rescue Squad responding. “It was warmly received by residents at the Hackettstown Spring Festival that year,” says Ficarra. “We were able to sell them there because instead of a donation by the BID (Business Improvement District) to the squad we would sell food during the event, so we also sold the signs that year. Since that year we have not sold food at the event, so we now rely on word of mouth to sell the signs.” She also adds, “Even though we are in Hackettstown we can make and deliver the signs to the surrounding area. For further out towns we can see what we can work out with delivery or even pickup.”
The cost per sign is $20, and they can be ordered through the First Aid Squad online store, or by mail with a check made payable to the Hackettstown First Aid and Rescue Squad and mail it to Hackettstown First Aid and Rescue Squad, C/O Jill Ficarra, 300 Sharp Street, Hackettstown. Please include your name, address, phone number, and address number you’d like on the sign.