Can you be sure that an ambulance crew can find you in an emergency?

Date: 28 November 2016

Time: 10:00

Ambulance at RTC

Often not having a clearly visible house number or failing to give information about a potentially difficult-to-find address could mean the difference between life and death.

And during winter’s more limited daylight hours, it is even more important for householders and businesses to make their properties easily identifiable from the road - many have their names and numbers concealed by trees or overgrown hedges, are too small to see or, worse still, have no signage at all.

Every minute saved is vital to a patient’s chances of survival but unfortunately crucial seconds or minutes can be lost driving up and down long roads looking for properties.

Following these three steps assists us greatly:

* check that your house number or name is visible from the road

* make sure that there is no trees, bushes or other foliage obstructing the sign

* switch on an outside light

Callers to 999 can also help up by giving clear instructions on finding less obvious addresses. It won’t hold up the resource being sent out as the dispatcher can pass this information on whilst they’re en route. For instance:

  • is the address in a neighbourhood which has multiple entrances? If so, which one are you closest to?
  • is it near a bus stop, pay phone, letter box, lay-by, or other ‘landmark’?
  • what colour is the front door?
  • is there someone who will be outside to flag them down?

Here are our top six tips on how to help us find you:

  • Make sure the house number is large enough and in a place where it can be seen from the road
  • If possible, place the house name or number on a wall or gate post next to the road as well as on the door
  • Cut back foliage regularly so the front of the property can be seen
  • Ensure the number or name stands out – black on white or vice versa is best
  • When waiting for a response, leave hazard lights on a car parked in the drive or on the road, and switch on any outside lights on the property
  • Obtain your home’s map grid reference and have it handy in case of emergency
  • Summary:

    Six top tips on how to help us find you