What house number? Bermuda Run taking steps to make it easier to locate for emergency personnel

Published 9:40 am Thursday, October 20, 2022

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By Jim Buice

Enterprise Record

BERMUDA RUN – As the town’s community officer, Mike Foster knows how to get around, but while on patrol he noticed something that was missing – things like street numbers.

So when the Bermuda Run Town Council met last Tuesday night, a presentation of E-911 addressing headed the agenda.

“It was brought to our attention from our community officer, Mike Foster, that in his travels throughout our city that there are a lot of homes that do not have their addresses posted,” said Town Manager Andrew Meadwell. “This really is a concern. I think that this is a good segue for us to have a public outreach to notify folks of the importance of why and how and where to be able to get your 911 address to post properly on your property.”

Representatives from Davie County 911 Communications and Emergency Services shared information regarding how responses to E-911 calls are made and emergency personnel are dispatched.

Even Mayor Rick Cross shared a personal experience of having to call 911.

“The idea they would know when I called where to go and that my house was properly identified is something I probably had not thought a whole lot about until that time,” Cross said. “So my hope through all of this is that we become more well informed, better educated in this area, and that we as a community can put forth what I would consider a campaign to make sure every residence and every business is easily identifiable.”

Rodney Pierce, director for Davie County 911 Communications, said that the county averages about 75,000 calls annually with law enforcement receiving the bulk of the calls, followed by EMS and fire.

Many changes, particularly involving technology, have evolved with a platform that started with Basic 911, then Enhanced 911 and the latest, Next Generation 911, of which Pierce said: “I’m proud to say we’re part of the state emergency service IP network managed by the state 911 board – the highest advanced technical rating you can get.”

Calls are processed first to validate the address and then breaking it down to emergency medical, emergency police and emergency fire.

However, the most basic component – having a number that is easily visible to first responders – continues to be an issue in a time where a continuing shift is advancing from landlines to cell phones. Pierce added that a third party, RapidSOS, is also available for residents to register their information.

Joseph Ashburn, interim EMS director for Davie County, said that time is of the essence for those in need.

“You sit back and think how crucial this is and think about the health of, say, somebody’s having a heart attack or a stroke,” he said. “Those things are very critical and time dependent to recognize and to get vehicles there, getting hands on the patients and getting them to the ER and the proper care.”

Cross said that while rules are in place for the visible street name and number signs, “this is not about enforcement of an ordinance as much as it is about a commitment to helping those that are there to serve and support us to do the best job that they can. It’s about doing the right thing and make sure we’re clear on what the right thing is and what we’re looking for.

“I think Mike Foster will be a big help with that as well. He’s around everyone on our streets all the time, and he’s the one who kind of raised the flag on this and said that there are places if I get a call some place, I’m not sure I’m there.”

Like council member Curtis Capps stated: “It’s just a matter of letting people know. We’re trying to help you be safe.”

In other Bermuda Run news:

• Meadwell said that there has been an issue involving the Blue Heron Trail with a welding certification on the bridge coming from North Dakota to be placed along US 158 that is awaiting final approval from NCDOT.

“It’s kind of a milestone of the project that kind of got stopped,” he said. “You go out and look at the significant progress and getting questions if they can start walking on the trail. Our answer is that it’s still a construction site, but we’re not going to run you off.”

• Meadwell added that Duke Energy has rerouted power poles and that the town is almost ready to start with the bypass pump, which will allow the contractor to start the demolition of the wastewater treatment plant. He said that one of the setbacks is the generator for the new pump station has been delayed another 30 days.