by Victor Lopez
MIDLAND--Keeping in mind we're talking about residents outside the city limits, there are literally thousands of addresses in Midland County and they're used by several different entities. So you can be sure, 911 is going to do their homework and get the job done right.
"Our database is 99.8% accurate. Before an address is assigned in this office, there are 4 or 5 databases that are verified through," Joyce Britcher, Director of Communications, said.
Check, check, and re-check. That's how Midland 911 Services handles each and every new address that gets assigned through their office. According to GIS Information Manager, Vonda Gafford, "We have a grid system that we use and each county road has a grid system added to it, where we know exactly what address is going to be placed through each county road."
Thanks to County Commissioners, they've been handling address assignments in the County for 20 years. "An agreement was made with a lot of different entities, so that the customer, the resident out there, would only have to have one address to remember and utilize," Britcher explained.
One address that would be used by the post office, school districts utilities companies and more. But having a 911 issued address is important for a very good reason.
"Our goal, in this office, is to make sure that every resident in Midland County is locatable by emergency services," Gafford said.
In order to be found, you need to make sure your address is visible. Gafford says you can do that anyway you want, "You can use a brick painted with your address. Really, there's all kinds. We see it in all different forms and fashions when we're out there. "
With all the checks and balances that go into assigning a new address, sometimes mistakes can happen. "We strive for it never to happen, but you know the saying, never say never. The human error factor is going to be in there," Britcher says.
Whether it's a new address at a new home or a change of address at the resident's request, Gafford says, "Our goal is to make it as accurate as possible. We never want to change an address once we've assigned it."