August 15, 2012
WILLIAMSON — Despite a desire for permanent, physical 911 addresses in parts of Mingo County, it is ultimately up to the individual in obtaining it.
Mingo County Emergency Services Director Jarrod Fletcher told the Daily News that the county is only responsible for mapping the area.
According Jennings Starcher, with the Department of Homeland Security’s Mapping Division, once the county’s mapping information is turned in, residents are mailed letters with information which prvodies a temporary house number and physical 911 address.
It is then necessary for that resident to send the letter back to verify the address, “but the majority of poeple just throw them away.”
Addresses, he said, are assigned by the state, not the county. Starcher also said that people are sometimes sent out to verify address information, but often meet uncooperative residents who claim that they’d rather not have an address.
“Hopefully our 911 dispatchers are familiar enough with areas to adequately direct firefighters, EMS and officers where they need to go,” Fletcher said.
He also said that he was very confident with area fire departments since they typically have a smaller coverage area.
“We’re doing the best we can,” Fletcher said. “Most of the county has one (a 911 address).”
However, the director said that he understood where the argument was coming from.
“I understand and sympathize with the issue,” Fletcher said. “But the majority of people I talk to have have no problem in receiving things in the mail.”