First Responders Using New Map System for Greenbelt Trail

Published 04/30 2014 09:51PM

Updated 04/30 2014 10:00PM

One of the most important things first responders need in an emergency is location. First responders in Owensboro now have a new way to find someone better and quicker in an emergency on the Greenbelt Trail.

On the surface of the Greenbelt, they're just numbers.

"I didn't know what they were for, but I try to memorize them just in case I might need to know where I was," says Dorothy Morrison of Owensboro. But these numbers are for more than memory, they're something first responders have to count on.

"If there's a medical emergency, and someone has difficulty breathing, time is of the essence. And if we can save time in finding your location more efficient, then we can do that," says Owensboro Daviess Co. 911 Director Paul Nave.

It's part of the trails new emergency marking system, put in place after two years of planning.  Officials say the numbers act like a street address at your home. Dispatchers use numbers on the trail to pinpoint where you are on the trail so that first responders can get to you quicker and easier.

"They can call 911 and say, 'I'm on 527 on the Greenbelt,' and we can pinpoint 100% accurately where they're located by having that information,” says Nave. He adds the idea surfaced first responders had problems finding those who needed help on the Greenbelt.

"We knew we were having a difficult time locating people on the greenbelt because nobody really knew what intersection they were at or what entrance they entered on and as they walked, they didn't know exactly where they were located," he says.

"I think that's nice because I'm 77 years old, and if I'm walking, say five miles, anything can happen, although I'm in very good health,” Morrison adds.

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