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Friday, 25 May 2018
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Rural Addressing

9-1-1 Emergency Network was assigned the task of providing physical addressing for residences and businesses located in the unincorporated areas of Hardin, Jefferson and Orange Counties.  All rural route box addresses in the three counties have been converted to physical street addresses.

Prior to 1992, there were no standards to follow for the naming of roads and no formal guidelines for establishing addresses.  Authority to set addressing standards was granted to counties in 1989 through Texas Senate Bill 1091 which amended the County Road and Bridge Act. Section 2.011 (b) of the County Road and Bridge Act, Art. 6702-1, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes, authorized Commissioner's Courts to adopt their own addressing standards to name roads and assign address numbers to property within the unincorporated areas.  In conjunction with County Judges and the Commissioner's Courts in Hardin, Jefferson and Orange counties, the 9-1-1 Network developed addressing standards which were approved by Commissioner's Court and adopted through a Court Order in each county.

The Enhanced 9-1-1 system selectively routes incoming 9-1-1 calls to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAPs) and displays the caller's telephone number and location information on the dispatcher's computer screen.  To provide this information, every structure must have a physical street address.  As part of the 9-1-1 implementation process, the SETRPC Emergency Network designed a regional rural addressing approach to providing building numbers and road names in the unincorporated areas of the three county region.  Due to the manner in which rural box numbers were assigned, there is frequently a lack of consistency in the sequence of numbers.  Also, rural routes do not provide police, fire and ambulance personnel with specific site locations in an emergency.

For the Enhanced system to work to its full potential, a systematic procedure for identifying all unnamed roads, assigning street names and providing building numbers was developed.  The new physical street addressing replaced the route box system and provides emergency personnel with specific address information.