In an emergency, minutes can be the difference between life and death and Starland County has taken steps to connect first responders with people in need as quickly as possible.
The county has adopted the blue sign municipal addressing system widely used by other rural municipalities in Alberta.
"Each mile of a township road, range road and highway is divided into 40 intervals," explained Community Services Director Diana Rowe. "In some cases it goes two miles, so then there's 80 intervals. The first responders understand this system and they know how to find you."
"Dispatch centres are located in Red Deer, Calgary and Edmonton and dispatchers out of there do not know where Michichi is," she elaborated. "Say 'I am one mile east of Rowley,' they won't know where that is."
Rowe is happy to see Starland adopt the new GPS based system as she feels it will become more and more needed to meet county residents' needs.
"We have a very aging population and we're encouraged to stay in our own homes longer," she noted. "Sometimes things happen accidentally when we least expect it and we need to have this information handy."
In that light, Starland County has gone a step further than many rural municipalities by ordering fridge magnets where residents can record their blue sign address, along wih their phone number and other pertinent information to give to the emergency dispatcher. Residents can get one by calling Diana Rowe at 820-1116.
The new system does not affect your mailing address and post box numbers remain the same.