One of the simplest ways to get a lifesaving emergency medical team to your house quickly is to have your street address clearly posted, David Lucas told Urban County Council members on Tuesday.
But about 24 percent, or 40,000, homes and businesses in Fayette County either do not have their address posted or have it posted improperly, said Lucas, director of enhanced 911.
Seventy percent of those are businesses.
"It's a simple but important thing you can do for less than $15," Lucas said.
When an emergency call comes to the city's 911 dispatcher, "we go out with the person's address and phone number," Lucas said. If the address is not posted, time can be wasted searching for the right location.
Lucas is working with the city's legal staff to draft an ordinance requiring that businesses display their address "higher up and in bigger letters," he said.
The ordinance is expected to go to council for approval in December. Lucas' department also plans a marketing campaign on GTV3 and with billboards around the city urging proper posting of addresses.
In Fayette County, there are 141,889 residential addresses, 19,775 commercial addresses and 4,115 other addresses, including cell towers and utility stations.
Lucas' department surveyed three areas of the city to try to increase compliance. One area was the Meadowthorpe neighborhood, off Leestown Road, with 938 addresses. A quarter of the homes and businesses did not have an address correctly posted.
"After we sent each one a letter about how to post their address, we have 100 percent commercial compliance and 97 percent residential," Lucas said.
Numbers must be at least 4 inches tall and posted 3 feet above ground level on a structure. The address has to be clearly visible during daylight hours to people in vehicles traveling in both directions.
"People don't understand how important addresses are," Lucas said. With global positioning systems in wider use, "We are become more an address-based society."