HOUSES that do not display street numbers are one of the biggest issues for emergency workers in the Yarra Ranges, paramedic and deputy mayor Jason Callanan says.
Cr Callanan says he hopes to implement a "standardised system" in the Yarra Ranges where numbers will be placed in similar spots on every house to guide paramedics and fire fighters.
Residents who do not have an easily recognisable number, especially in rural settings, are wasting the precious time of emergency crews and the hidden number could cost lives, Cr Callanan said.
"There's been occasions when this has been a hindrance in an emergency," he said.
"I know of cases that have led to bad outcomes [because of this], especially with respiratory emergencies. In those situations, those lost minutes start to count."
Cr Callanan, who has worked as a paramedic in the Yarra Ranges, said this situation "happens regularly". "Right now people have [the number] on their letterbox, their house, their fence. We want it in one spot that's easily seen. Think of the worst case scenario [for a paramedic] — it's raining, at night, and we have the windows up. We want to see a house number so we can help straight away."
Cr Callanan encouraged people when calling an ambulance, especially those in rural settings, to send someone out the front of the house to wave it down.
His comments follow a call from Emerald paramedics urging local residents to do "the simple thing" and ensure a house number can be easily seen by people driving past.
Emerald's acting team manager Bryan Macdonald echoed Cr Callanan's comments, adding a few simple ways people can help emergency workers.
"If you have shrubs around your letterbox, now is the perfect time to trim the spring growth back so that your house number can be read easily from the street," he said. "We'd also encourage you to lock up any pets before paramedics arrive."
It is a requirement under Yarra Ranges Streets and Roads Local Law 2005 that all properties have their number clearly visible from the road. It is recommended that the number be reflective and at least 75mm high.