Anyone who has had to look for an address in Happy Valley-Goose Bay will tell you that there are a lot of houses, sometimes three or four in a row, with no civic number visible. This issue was brought to Happy Valley-Goose Bay town council on Feb. 27 by a former Emergency Medical Responder in the town.
Jamie Felsberg spoke to council about the issue and called on council to make a bylaw making civic numbering mandatory.
Felsberg cited a number that says within 10 minutes the majority of people in cardiac arrest have irreversible brain damage, which is not a lot of time. He said he’s been on calls where they went down certain streets and cannot find a certain house because it’s not labelled. They encourage people to stand on the side of the road and wave the ambulance down but not everybody can do that.
“Like I said some people can last 10minutes, some less. It’s not just a statistic, it’s the reality. The sad reality is for sometimes, for whatever reasons, every second counts and that second can definitely mean life or death.”
He said it’s a quick and easy solution which could mean life or death in certain situations. He brought up that other municipalities in the province, and across the country, have brought in similar bylaws.
“Nova Scotia, PEI and some of the other Atlantic Provinces are very big on it. I think it’s a very important thing to have in a community, especially for emergency response,” he said.
He pointed out as well, from an emergency perspective, that not all emergency responders are local to the area.
“Myself, I grew up here but a lot of people who I worked with did not. So I could tell them where Montagnais is for example, but a lot of them don’t know that. Getting to the street can be an issue, for one, and then finding the house can be difficult. A lot of RMCP officers are constantly in and out with their postings.”
Mayor Wally Andersen told the Labradorian that the issue came up before Christmas and they are working on it.
“I’ve talked to fireman who have addressed these concerns, that there are some places where there’s three or four houses without a number that’s visible,” Andersen told the Labradorian. “We’re going to ask people to make sure to put a good, visible number on their houses, it’s for their benefit. If an ambulance races down the road and has to knock on two or three doors before finding the right house that could mean loss of life. It’s something the Town is calling upon the community to do and we may mandate it.”