911 Addressing still very far away

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before ... Sussex County is trying to get 911 addressing finalized for county residents.

For close to a decade, this has been a topic of discussion throughout our community. Emergency responders want a true addressing system where a five-digit address matches up with a resident’s phone number — often because the caller ID on an emergency call can be correctly linked to a physical address. However, many residents see the new addressing as a hassle to deal with, and many businesses don’t want the added expense of changing letterhead and phone book listings.

It’s a difficult situation, to say the least.

According to county officials, for the 911 addressing to go into effect, there must be a 95 percent “match rate” between physical addresses and phone numbers. As of late January, when they did their last study, the match rate was less than 55 percent. In an effort to increase cooperation with residents, the county is now affording homeowners the opportunity to file their needed information online.

No driving anywhere. No taking the time to make a phone call. Sit and type. Simple as that.

But that doesn’t really address the obstacle, does it? Many people simply aren’t interested in the new addressing, for various reasons, depending on the individual. The county needs to either do a better job communicating the positives that can come from a centralized addressing system or drop this matter once and for all.

We’re somewhat split in this office. Some believe that anything that can simplify the jobs of emergency personnel and perhaps save a life in the process should be done immediately. Others argue that emergency responders have been doing just fine for years without 911 addressing, that to change now simply adds headaches, not efficiency.

What we are in agreement over is the fact that none of us want to see this process drag on another 10 years. With the match rate as low as it currently is, there is no easy end in sight, and that is maddening.

---We’d like to take a moment to thank Tim Droney for his 20 years of service to the town of Millville. Droney decided not to run in the recent Millville Town Council elections, and the council will certainly appear different without Droney at his usual position.

We’re happy that new people have decided to get involved with the operations and decisions of the town, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t stop to thank Droney for his tireless contributions to improving the quality of life for Millville residents for two decades.