911 change backed
Adamsburg fire Chief Don Thoma said Westmoreland that County 911's readdressing project is needed in Hempfield to eliminate duplicate street names.
"Our fire department covers 12 to 15 square miles in Hempfield Township. Each year there are no less than a dozen emergency dispatching errors because of duplication of street names and numbering in our coverage area," said Thoma, who has been fire chief since 1980.
Hempfield has 11,000 businesses and homes, and 42,000 residents.
The county 911 readdressing project involved 528 street-name changes or additions in the township.
Of those changes, 380 were new street names that were issued to rural routes or unnamed private lanes, and 148 involved street names that were changed to eliminate duplication.
Rob Ritson, township manager, said the municipality had three separate Eisaman roads -- Charlie Eisaman Road, located in the central part of the township; Eisaman Road in West Hempfield Township, and Eisaman School Road, also near the central section of the township.
"The names of two of the Eisaman roads were changed," Ritson said. "Eisaman Road was changed to Culpepper Drive and Eisaman School Road was renamed Wolf's Nursery Road."
Residents from West Hempfield's Eisaman Road asked the township supervisors if they could retain the original name. Gerald Eisaman told supervisors that his descendants have lived on the road since 1773.
Don Baker, a resident of Charlie Eisaman Road, suggested that his road be renamed Goodlin Road.
"Three generations of Goodlins have lived on that road since 1908," said Mary Lou Eisaman, Gerald's wife.
Gerald Eisaman and Don Baker visited residents along Charlie Eisaman Road on Thursday to discuss changing the name to Goodlin Road.
"The supervisors are looking for a good resolution to this," Ritson said. "It's a very positive sign that the residents are talking about the name change."
Thoma said the 911 system depends on having correct street names and numbers.
"We need to have the most accurate information as possible," he said. "Dispatching errors happen a lot more than people realize. It will continue to happen until the system is cleaned up so it works better.
"Because in response time, two or three minutes is a big deal."