The Pierce County Council on Dec. 12 approved changes to addresses on Key Peninsula, Fox Island and Anderson Island that will bring the addresses into compliance with federal Next Generation 911 standards.
The changes will also make it easier for first responders — including those from outside of the area who assist during disasters or major emergencies —to find properties.
Addresses on Key Peninsula with a “KPN” directional will use “NW,” while those with a “KPS” directional will use “SW.” Anderson Island and Fox Island addresses will no longer have a directional. Currently, the directional for Anderson Island is “AI,” while the directional for Fox Island is “FI.” Approximately 365 addresses on Key Peninsula and Anderson Island that are considered problematic will also be corrected.
“It was important to ensure that addresses on the Peninsula are in compliance with Next Generation 911 standards. This will allow for emergency services to reach residents more efficiently,” said Council member Derek Young of District 7, which includes Key Peninsula and Fox Island.
More than 16,000 property owners will receive a notice in January with their new official address. The changes will go into effect April 1, although the new addresses should be used for emergency services calls starting in January. Mail services will honor old addresses through April 1, 2019 to give property owners time to update their address with their contacts.
Next Generation 911 is a system that allows the public to contact 911 via text messages, as well as through phone calls. Under Next Generation 911 standards, addresses must meet U.S. Postal Service standards before the 911 system is upgraded. The majority of Pierce County addresses meet these standards, while the addresses on Key Peninsula, Fox Island and Anderson Island do not due to their current directionals.
When addressing problems affect emergency response times, first responders work with Pierce County to correct the address. Pierce County and emergency services track problem addresses and have a regular program to fix them. Common address problems include house numbers that are out of sequence, addresses that are off a road that is not used for access, and addresses that are on the wrong side of the street.
The public can call (253) 798-8575 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. People can also visit piercecountywa.org/911addressing to learn more and access a map that allows them search for address changes to their property.
Property owners received an initial notice about the address changes in October. Pierce County held two open houses in November on Key Peninsula about the changes.