Thank you to the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District volunteers for their midnight response to our Dec. 31 911 call for my parents’ house, 6 miles up the Crystal River. The smoke alarm awoke us at midnight, and we discovered smoke pouring from the furnace. Our rural driveway has no address markings for the six homes that share it, just a U.S. Postal Service box. The fire department drove past and turned around when they saw the next address that was visible, realizing they had gone too far. My parents have been here for 42 years and this was their first emergency, so it was the first time I realized how much danger they were in from lack of a visible street number, as are our neighbors and many other rural dwellers who have Highway 133 addresses but no visible numbers on the road.
I called Pitkin County the next day to find out about numbering. We are supposed to have 4-inch-tall numbers that are visible in the dark from both directions. I went to buy adhesive numbers and discovered that neither tape nor paint will adhere in this frigid cold to our driveway marker, the metal mail box. Fire chief Leach has been very kind and will inform his team captains about exactly where my parents are should another emergency occur.
Delta County installs red and white numbered signs on every rural driveway in the county. They are a poor county compared to Pitkin County. I suggest that Pitkin and Garfield counties follow this excellent safety measure. 2012 was a terrible wildfire year; we should all have easy-to-find addresses for any emergency that should occur. If the county would install these on every public road to indicate house numbers we would all be safer.
Happy, safer new year to all.