Police Response Times In Rural Areas

Rural dirt road
Rural dirt road

One of the main issues facing people who live in rural areas is response times for emergency responders.Roads use to be divided into routes, and box numbers.  An example would be Route 9 box 1319.  The Post Office knew where Route 9 was at, but the police and fire department usually did not.  Because of this, a nation wide initiative was put into effect to change from route numbers to road numbers.  This way route 9 was turned into an address on a road.

Sounds simple, right?  Mail box routes were abolished, and all of the houses were given a physical number.  This made mapping easy, and was supposed to make finding rural homes easier.

Changing from mail box routes to road numbers has made thing easier, a lot easier.  Now anyone can pull up a map and find a certain road number on the map.

The problem that still exist is emergency responders finding house numbers on the road.  Let’s say county road 600 is 5 miles long, and the police receive a call at 555 county road 600.  A lot of people in rural areas do not have reflective numbers on the outside of their home.  On a personal note, my house does have numbers on the front.

Another issue is mailboxes for several families may be bunched together at the front of the road.  So there may not even be a mail box in front of the house with address numbers.  Why would people put mail boxes at the front of the road?  So the mail person can deliver all the mail at one spot.  For example, the only time the mail person comes to my house is when I get a package.

Let’s get back to our example of 555 county road 600, which is a fictitious address.  If someone needs help, emergency responders have to drive slow looking for the address, or even get out and knock on doors.  I have had people knock on my door looking for a certain address.

A few days ago my neighbors needed the police.  the police did not know exactly where the address was at, so they pulled up in my front yard, looked at the numbers on my house, and kept driving.  All of this waste critical response time.

All of this is one reason why people who live in rural areas try to be self-sufficient, especially when it comes to criminals.  someone shows up at our house, and the sheriff is called, it might be 30 minutes before anyone shows up.  What “exactly” is my family supposed to do for 30 minutes?

This is one of the many differences between city dwellers and rural dwellers.  City dwellers expect a response time of a few minutes.  Rural dwellers expect a response time of 30+ minutes.