(September 2, 2014) – Knowing your address might seem like something that should have been learned in elementary school, however; the Town of Ocean City’s Emergency Services Department insists that all too often callers don’t know their location. The address, which may not seem like a “must know” to visitors, can be critical for first responders during emergency and lifesaving response time.
“Most of our visitors disregard the address where they’re staying as soon as they arrive,” said Emergency Services Director Joe Theobald. “Once they turn off their GPS and park their car, they are officially in vacation mode, which is exactly what we want. Unfortunately, if one of our visitors is in need of medical attention or calls 911 for emergency response, they often times don’t know their location and it can be quite challenging for our personnel to try to determine where they are located rather than immediately sending help their way.”
Also, due to the decreased use of landline telephones, Theobald notes that emergency dispatchers are not able to get an exact location for callers. “Most of our calls come from cell phones, and while they do give GPS locations, it is often inaccurate,” Theobald continued. “Unless they are calling from a landline, the GPS does not give an exact location and this greatly delays getting our visitors help.”
The Emergency Services Department is currently working with the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association to make addresses more visible for visitors, as well as inform customers to know their address when they check-in. Owners of rental properties are encouraged to display a complete address, including the name of the building, on the back of the front door of their rental. Lastly, visitors are encouraged to know where they’re staying.
“We certainly hope our visitors never need to call us,” Theobald finished. “But in the worst case, if they need us during their trip to Ocean City, we want to be there for them and we want to be there fast.”