By CARL SMITH
Oktibbeha County volunteer fire officials are raising money by installing new, reflective address signs throughout the county which will help first responders accurately navigate to emergency scenes.
County Fire Services Coordinator Kirk Rosenhan said Maben, East and Central Oktibbeha County fire departments are currently offering the service to county residents. According to a COCVFD order form, the address signs are made of heavy-guage, reflective plate and colored blue. The signs measure 18 inches by 6 inches, with 4-inch tall numbers on both sides. For about $20, volunteers will replace previously existing address signs, but the cost of a new sign and pole will run $10 extra.
COCVFD Assistant Chief Joe Pennell said although the sign fundraiser has been in existence for years, his department has received more inquiries due to the countyâ€™s addressing system change.
â€śThereâ€™s been a significant increase in interest because of the change,â€ť he said. â€śWeâ€™re getting about three or four orders per day.â€ť
The money the fire departments raise â€” approximately $4 or $5 per sign â€” is secondary to the assistance the reflective signs offer to emergency responders, Pennell said.
â€śWe started putting them out basically as a public service,â€ť he said. â€śThe fact that you see numbers when youâ€™re going down the road, then you can know youâ€™re getting closer to where youâ€™re going. Theyâ€™re visible during the day, but we can really see them well at night.â€ť
Central has already installed about 40 signs this year, Pennell said, while EOVFD Chief Greg Ball said his department has placed about 30 signs for county residents. Ball said he hasnâ€™t seen a spike in order volume, but Pennell said he expects more and more orders as county residents adapt to the new addressing system.
For more information on the signs or to place an order, email Pennell at firstname.lastname@example.org, call the EOCVFD at (662) 323-0044 and leave a message, post a comment on Eastâ€™s Facebook page or call MVFD Chief Justin Collins at (662) 418-0327.