Rescue workers hope street name changes improve safety

Marion County, SC - MARION,SC (WMBF) - E-911 planners in Marion County have worked for five years to get rid of duplicate or similar street names in the county to simplify emergency response efforts.

The City of Marion is the last municipality on the list to see the county's changes. They'd like to change names like Arch Street and Art Street, so emergency workers know exactly where they are going without having to ask questions.

"We want them to be as unique as possible so we can speed up. It won't be as confusing as it has been in the past," Chief Trey Cooper with the Marion Fire Department said. "First thing they're having to do when a call goes out [is] run to the trucks and get their gear on. They're doing tons of things and it's very easy to mistake something as simple as the name of a street."

Elizabeth Johnson has lived in Marion for almost 50 years. She says she's lived on B Street, but there's also a Bee Street, which was confusing when giving directions. Now she lives on North Spring Street, which doesn't even connect to South Spring Street.

"B Street, [for example]. They might mean B, but we [have] a street named Bee, like Bumble Bee, B-E-E. So if they need to change it they need to change it," said Johnson.

Cooper said the efforts will prevent his team from having dispatchers spell out street names or clear up a specific location. It's all in an effort to get help to people much faster than in the past.

"There's several streets. Art and Arch. The Dixons. A lot of them sound exactly alike, [but] they're just spelled different," Cooper added.

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