9-1-1 It’s an emergency!

Melissa SandfortAgricultural Anthropology

Where do I live, you ask? Well, it’s two miles south of the big river bridge. It’s a mile east of Uncle Bob’s. It’s just north of Mrs. Tate’s place, you know, the lady who used to write children’s books? (As always, names have been changed to protect the innocent, or in this case, deceased.)

Don’t you love how us country folk give directions? At least I didn’t mention the big black dog. Because we all know the big black dog is always sitting in the same spot.

What we do have are 911 addresses. No rural route, no county road … just long numbers like 52684 523 Road. That’s what a real address looks like. No joke.

An E-911 address, as they’re officially known, is assigned using a mileage measurement, accurate to 1/100 of a mile, to a driveway on a named road. Measurements start at the south or west end of a through road. The county office even came out with GPS to get an accurate number for ours. Driveways on the left side of the road have odd numbers and driveways on the right side of the road have even numbers.

Why did they come about? Because when people dialed 911, the emergency guys had a hard time finding RR1 Box 36A. Rural Route 1….then look for a mailbox with the number 36A on it? That’s probably the house next to the big black dog, right?

And if the caller is unable to give their address, the home phone number, building (house), etc. is most often linked to the address. I don’t think the 911 address is linked to cell phones, but isn’t the government tapping into our cell phones anyway?

Until our next history lesson …