One of the truly confusing aspects of 9-1-1 and physical addressing is the many different 'boundaries' or areas that are involved. The areas may include City Limits, County Limits, City and Rural Fire response areas, medical or ambulance response areas, US Postal delivery areas and Telephone wire center areas. Each area determines who services the particular need at hand. If one were to overlay ALL the effected boundaries onto a single map, it would be next to impossible to actually make any sense out of it.
For example an single address may have a Shawnee US Postal address but have a Tecumseh phone number with Pottawatomie County Sheriff police protection and Shawnee, Bethel, County and/or Tecumseh Fire protection. The boundaries set forth for each service is totally dependent upon that services needs.
For example the Telephone Wire Center boundaries are generally designed to the most efficient use of the telephone 'plant' or wires and fibers that feed the area. The City or Corporate limits are designed based on the needs of the citizens in the area or the desires of the existing City Commission or Council members. Each service usually sets their own service boundaries or limits.
The address you have will be totally dependent upon where you live at. If you reside in a City Limit boundary, generally the address will be based on that City's grid system. If you live in the County area, you address will be either tied to addresses in the rural development you live in or addressed on the Pottawatomie County Standard Addressing Grid system.
Pottawatomie County Standard Addressing Grid
In an effort to insure the ability to smoothly move to a county-wide emergency response and/or dispatch system in the future, and to make the county response by the Pottowatomie Co. sheriff and ambulance service as consistent as possible, the same scheme used in the Shawnee 273/275/878 prefix area is used in the county area of the 598 exchange. This scheme relies on the EW and NS section line designators and the physical location of the addressee.
A sample of the 'hundred' blocks for this scheme is shown here, note that NORTH is UP;
Sample Addressing Scheme
Although initially the five digit address number looks confusing, the number quite accurately reflects where the address is within the section line. The number is divided into three major parts; the THOUSAND block, the TENTH MILE, and the UNIT NUMBER.
Five Digit County Address
By using such a scheme, emergency personnel SHOULD have an excellent idea of where the call is coming from. At least they will have an idea of how far South/East of the section line to go to and which side of the road the call is on, a great benefit over Route and Box numbers.
For most individuals served by the City of Shawnee's 9-1-1 system, addresses will be assigned by the City of Shawnee. To start the address assignment process, call 405-878-1651 from 8-5, M-F and talk to the 9-1-1 Coordinator. You will need to know exactly where you live at with Addition, Lot and Block information if you live in an existing sub division or rural development.
If you are building a new house or having major remodeling that requires a new address, you will need to contact the building permits division in order to complete the proper permitting paperwork before any addressing will occur.
Why Can't I Just Use My Route and Box Number??
This is a very common question. The Route and Box number provided over the years by the US Postal Service was designed for mail delivery only. The Routes meander up and down roads in the general path that the Postman delivers the mail. They provide NO physical address related information that can be applied across a large geographical area. In fact you usually see many nearly duplicated mailboxes such as RT 1 BOX 52 and RT 1 BOX 52A or RT 1 BOX 52X. Additionally all these mailboxes may be grouped into a single location without any indicator of where the actual residences are at.
The physical address you are provided should be clearly posted using 3" or 4" letters at the ENTRANCE to your physical location. This may require an additional pole in a different location than your mailbox BUT it may well save your live when you need Police, Fire or Medical assistance.