During a recent meeting of Nesquehoning Borough Council, it was discussed that many homes don't have house numbers.

Nesquehoning Fire Chief John McArdle, who also responds on ambulance calls for the Nesquehoning Ambulance, said ambulance personnel often respond to residences in the middle of the night and rely on flashlights to find house numbers.

A problem occurs sometimes when there are no house numbers. It ultimately means that response to someone needing life-saving medical assistance could be delayed.

Many municipalities mandate house numbers, but the rule isn't always enforced.

In some rural areas, it's not only the case of missing house numbers, but street names not on local maps usually in private developments.

We live in a time when response time is hastened by such things as emergency call systems and GPS units, but if the addresses aren't identified, such devices can prove ineffective.

Every municipality should have regulations requiring house numbers. Such rules should be enforced.

Ambulance personnel shouldn't have to risk knocking on the wrong door at 3 in the morning because of the lack of house numbers.

Even fire calls can mean the difference between saving a home and having extensive damages occur because of reaching the location for an alarm.

Dwelling fires often are called in before the fire is visible outside the home. Minutes are important in all fires, especially structure fires.

Even police depend on the house numbers and legitimate street names for making the fastest response. A call for a burglary-in-progress will be delayed if the police can't find a proper house number, or locate the street that the caller gave to the dispatcher.

Common sense dictates why house numbers are needed.

Whether someone is having a heart attack, stroke, fire, an intruder breaking into their home, or whatever other emergency might occur, precious minutes could be saved by having a recognizable address.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com