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Address verification proves vital in emergency response services

Rachel Wheeler

August 5, 2014

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For everyone who stockpiles data about people's contact information, it's important to have the right data. That logic applies to everyone. But perhaps no one should emphasize this more than emergency response teams, who absolutely must have accurate knowledge of who lives where if they're going to be able to deliver timely care to people who need it most.

Imagine trying to deliver an ambulance to the home of someone who's just had a heart attack or similar catastrophic event. If you can't trust the contact information on file for that person, you're in for a world of trouble. This is why it's crucial that emergency response personnel have address verification solutions available, so they can use them to confirm vital details that might make the difference between life and death.

Lately, some reports have trickled out about public organizations that have trouble in this regard. One such anecdote comes from north of the border in rural Nova Scotia, where according to CBC, ambulances are being sent to the wrong addresses because of some confusion about street names within the Emergency Health Services office.

Jeff Fraser, provincial manager at the EHS office, told the news source that this confusion has happened in multiple instances.

"It does happen occasionally," Fraser admitted. "But it is certainly the exception, not the rule."

In addition to street addresses, there are likewise frequent problems with phone numbers. If someone is calling from a cell phone, EHS personnel won't always be sure that they know when and where calls are coming from. If a call is not made from the scene of the incident, the ambulance may have trouble locating the situation.

These anecdotes go to show that proper address verification resources are a must-have for public organizations that respond in times of crisis. Without knowing people's whereabouts, it's near-impossible for these officials to take potentially life-saving action.

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