Updated: 3/24/2016 (Date of OVFD open house corrected.)
Editor’s news note: The Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department will have a 50th Anniversary Open House from 2 to 4 p.m on Sunday, April 3. This would be a good time visit the station and order a street number sign.
The Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department has a goal to have all houses and businesses on the island marked with reflective street number signs to aid the Hyde County Emergency Medical Services first-responders and the fire department in locating homes in emergencies.
This is an important safety issue for the island since both the OVFD and especially the EMS rely heavily on these signs when finding homes and minutes count in emergencies.
During the summer, the county employs off-island temporary emergency medical technicians who are unfamiliar with the village. In a medical crisis, those in a house are dealing with their emergency and may not be available to wait outside.
Many renters are not familiar with the island and might have difficulty explaining their location when placing a 911 call. Renters know their cottages by the name and number ID used by their rental companies, but these reflective house number signs mounted at the street are easily recognizable to all.
Prominently displayed reflective signs can also quicken the response time when there are unnumbered houses between numbered ones on a street.
Many houses owned by off-islanders who visit on occasion and rent their houses don’t have numbered signs. They should. Businesses should also have them.
To date, more than 300 orders for house numbers have been requested.
These signs, vertical or horizontal, can be ordered by calling 252 928-4692, or visit the OVFD building, 822 Irvin Garrish Highway. Forms are available on the post office bulletin.
We urge all who have not yet ordered a sign to do so. It could be a matter of life or death and provide some peace of mind for folks to know their places can be found as quickly as possible.
Point of disclosure: Peter Vankevich is on the editorial board for the Ocracoke Observer and is an Ocracoke volunteer firefighter.