Page last updated at 06:11 GMT, Monday, 6 April 2009 07:11 UK

Call for clearer rural home signs

Helen Roberts of Cadwyn Clwyd
Helen Roberts of Cadwyn Clwyd with a road sign

A new campaign is urging people in rural Denbighshire to display the names and numbers of their homes properly in order to help the emergency services.

When responding to 999 calls officers and paramedics say they are often hampered because many farms and houses do not have names or numbers on them.

The assembly government has given rural development agency Cadwyn Clwyd £220,000 to run the campaign.

The emergency services said better signage on homes would save lives.

The agency has commissioned a DVD to highlight the difficulties caused by poor naming and numbering.

Helen Roberts, Cadwyn Clwyd rural services officer, said the assembly government grant would fund a media-driven public awareness campaign.

Free name plates will also be available to farmers in rural Denbighshire.

I have been in the situation myself when we have been having problems finding the right house and it can be very frustrating to the crews
Paramedic Alun Roberts

"All they have to do is contact Cadwyn Clwyd and fill in a simple form - then we'll do the rest. It's a simple job but it could save their life," she said.

Paramedic Alun Roberts, from the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, said arriving at the scene of an incident quickly could mean the difference between life and death.

"I have been in the situation myself when we have been having problems finding the right house and it can be very frustrating to the crews," he said.

"What we are asking is for people to help us so that we can help them - and if they are suffering a life-threatening emergency it is imperative that we get to them quickly.

'Satellite navigation'

"People assume that everybody knows them and knows where they live but the crew responding to the call won't necessarily be local people.

"Satellite navigation can work very well in towns and cities but it is far less reliable in the countryside."

Farmer H Clwyd Hughes, from Llangwyfan, near Denbigh, said farmers were "duty bound" to do all they could to help the emergency services.

"All farmers should put the name of the farm at the farm entrance because that will enable the emergency services to find the farm more quickly," he said.

"If we get them there two or three minutes earlier we could help them to save life."



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