The signs, E-911 Director Trisha Orr said, are mainly for identification purposes, as many residences on these obscure roads have mailing addresses associated with the closest county-maintained cross street, which makes it difficult for first responders to determine which house is in need of emergency personnel.
Private drives are effectively driveways or roads that are not maintained by the county but have at least three residences on them. So far, the county has identified and placed signs on 123 private drives, beginning with numbers in the 100s in the southern part of the county, progressing into the 300s toward the north end of the county.
“We’ve had lots of calls that we were unable to get to in the fastest time possible because of this confusion,” Orr said. “The main thing is for identification purposes, so the dispatcher can give the responders a location that is exact.”
The cost of the project is estimated at $3,000 and will be paid entirely out of SPLOST funds, with the work starting earlier this month and being completed earlier this week.
The 123 signs are red, Orr said, to stand out more than other street signs.
Charles Pope, director of public works, said the move is a positive one that will help first responders locate individuals who live on those private drives, ultimately ensuring quicker response times.
“Getting emergency vehicles out there as quickly as we can is obviously a very positive thing,” Pope said. “And I think this will help us a lot with that.”
Orr said she has heard of relatively no backlash from the signs from homeowners who were not expecting the signs to be put on their driveways.
“We haven’t heard anything negative about them so far,” Orr said. “It’s really just a positive thing.”
Pope urged residents who live on a private drive that is not numbered yet to contact the Public Works Department at 770-830-5901. He also encourages residents who live on a private drive to note the number assigned to the street so they can best inform emergency dispatchers where they are located.
“It’s important to keep response times as short as possible,” Orr said. “We’re in the business of saving lives, and this is going to streamline that process even more than it already is.”