Emergencies can happen anywhere, including laneways — which is why the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) is working to make it easier for paramedics, fire and police to identify buildings from the rear when there is a 911 call for service.
The project is supported by the Vancouver Police Foundation in conjunction with the Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre (HSCPC) and the Hastings North Business Improvement Association.
Project Landmark provides address number plates to businesses and residences. They can be attached to a rear structure such as a garage, fence or wall. If emergency responders arrive at a building from the laneway, they can easily identify the correct building, minimizing response times and increasing their ability to save lives and protect the public.
Number plates have been distributed by HSCPC volunteers in the area bounded by Pender Street, Parker, Nanaimo and Renfrew, and to businesses along Hastings Street between Clark and Renfrew. With a total of 875 plates delivered, 32% of businesses and 37% of residences now have their plates mounted at the back of the property.
The next step will be for HSCPC volunteers to deliver reminder notices to those who have not mounted their plates.
VPD Sergeant Lorna Berndsen, who initiated Project Landmark, emphasizes: “This project is a public safety initiative and thus if all members of the Hastings Sunrise community participate, the neighbourhood will be a much safer place in which to live than if there was no posted rear address. “We can’t help you if we can’t find you!”