Blog | Philipp Haidenbauer

WebDev, DevOp and Paramedic

House Numbers

Posted at — Apr 20, 2019

Today I’m going to write about a problem I’m regularly experiencing while driving as a paramedic at nights. Well, at daylight it’s probably synonymous.

In our ambulance vehicles, we have a GPS-Navigation System where we can navigate to patients home and also receive our rescue operation. Of course, the navigation software isn’t the best, but that’s a whole other topic I might cover in another post.

Let’s think this through together:

We are driving on a lonesome road on our way to a patient with some kind of problem. The patient lives in a small residential area. Our navigation software stops on the entry to a road with seven houses connected to it.

Let’s imagine there are no street signs, no street lights, and most probably no lights turned on inside the houses, at least in the ones we can see from our current position. We know the patient’s name and his or her address.

House number 42 (a hitchhikers guide to galaxy anyone?), great. I see seven houses, none of them as the house number written on anything. No illuminated plate, no mailbox in sight with the name on it (note it’s 2 o’clock in the morning and completely dark).

So how the hell should we find this house? Our navigation software strikes, no numbers on the houses?

Normally we find the house in a few minutes, but I also search for half an hour. Now, let’s take this even further:

Our patient is alone at home and only managed to set an emergency call. The connection got cut right after he/she submitted the address to dispatch. So there is probably a serious injury ongoing and we can’t find the damnd house.

It’s law in Austria that you must have a house number somewhere visible from the street. Sadly almost no one has one. Someday somebody will die because they don’t have a house number on their house.