Moffat County emergency responders think they can find homes in rural Moffat County even though plans to overhaul addressing were never fully implemented.
In August 2003, the Moffat County commissioners approved a plan to change the addresses of some homes in the county. The plan also called for street signs and home addresses to be clearly marked.
The changes, which were supposed to be completed by January, were spurred by fears that emergency responders couldn't find rural homes because the addressing wasn't consistent.
Tom Soos, director of emergency medical services for The Memorial Hospital, said finding homes wasn't a problem for ambulance drivers before addresses were changed and isn't a problem now.
"I've never really seen it as a major problem," Soos said.
Former Planning Department Director Sue Graler said the project never was fully implemented in part because there wasn't enough staff in the planning department.
"We didn't have the manpower to follow up," Graler said.
Some changes that were never made include re-addressing homes on County Road 7 and replacing mile markers throughout the county.
Graler resigned in March. County officials hope to have a new planner in place by the end of this month.
The new planner should try to complete the project, Graler said, but it will take a lot of time.
"It could be done, but it's a very time-consuming process," Graler said.
Craig Fire Chief Chris Nichols said the addressing changes made some homes easier to find.
"It's a step in the right direction," Nichols said.
Dealing with new street names made finding homes more difficult at first for Nichols and Soos.
"Initially, it was more confusing," Nichols said.
Sgt. Rick Holford with the Moffat County Sheriff's Office said some changes, such as added street signs, made a difference, but he said re-naming private driveways was an unnecessary change.
Nichols, Soos and Holford all said homes with poorly marked addresses remain the biggest problem for emergency responders.
"You need to have residences clearly marked," Soos said.
There was an incident last month where firefighters couldn't find a home as fast as they would have liked, Nichols said.
"The address given wasn't clearly marked," he said.