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were too far from the road to see. In the winter, others were lost be- neath snowbanks, and over the years, many painted signs have faded. That’s a big problem when it comes to swift emergency re- sponse times.
Fran Butler is a retired fire chief in Alexandria and now serves as treasurer of the AVFA. He said that when the associa- tion decided to adopt a project that would give back to the com- munity, they voted to purchase new reflective address markers for the town. “A lot of times, we can’t find a house when there’s an emergency, and if it’s on a dead- end road, we have to find a place
September 2021
 to turn around to go back and look for it. The time that takes can mean all the difference in the outcome of a situation, whether it’s a fire or medical,” said Butler.
So, with that in mind, AVFA began looking into the types of numeric signs they wanted to purchase. With white reflective numbers available on green, red, and blue sign backgrounds, they learned that Hebron Fire Depart- ment had researched to see which would be the most visible, espe- cially at night or in bad weather. Butler said that hands down, Hebron found the red signs to be the best to spot in an emergency. Thanks to their input, Alexandria decided to follow suit with the red signs as well.
With care and concern for the
people they serve, Butler said their signs are absolutely free to prop- erty owners in their community. Money for the sign project comes from their annual fundraising campaigns, such as the upcoming Labor Day Pig Roast and the an- nual winter ice-fishing derby.
In kicking off this latest project, the association obtained a list of 1,200 names of property own- ers in the town. They managed to whittle that down somewhat by discovering some were under dual ownership or were wood lots with no structures, but the num- bers were still substantial. “Each sign blank costs us $11-$12 each, and then we still have to buy the numbers, more often than not for two sides of the sign depending on where they’re placed, and then the hardware to mount them,” Butler explained. It’s an import- ant service the association is com- mitted to, though.
Each sign order can be made to specification, whether horizon- tal or vertical, requiring an arrow
to indicate an unseen residence down a long drive or individ- ual signs indicating locations for multiple residences on the same property. And while the signs are all free, they are grateful for the many generous donations AVFA has received since the campaign began.
AVFA has placed request forms for the signs at the town offices and transfer station, and they are available from any Alex- andria Fire Department or AVFA member. The association has also started mailing them alphabeti- cally, 50 names at a time. How- ever, as a nonprofit organization, the association is penny-wise, and Butler said that as AVFA processes the order forms they receive, they also cross those names off the fu- ture mailing list.
The signs are not only free, however. Members of AVFA will also come to a residence equipped with tools and all the necessary hardware to install them for the homeowners. Whether it be on
a post, a mailbox, a tree, or the home itself where it can be seen from the road, the association is custom-made (horizontal and ver- tical). Their intention is to make a home’s location visible to fire and medical responders and po- lice, delivery vendors, and service companies. Butler said a few peo- ple have asked to put the signs up themselves and, as long as it can be readily seen from the road, AVFA is agreeable.
Forms for sign requests and donations for the project can be mailed to AVFA, P.O. Box 282, Alexandria, N.H. 03222. When filling out the forms, But- ler stressed that phone numbers, for both local and seasonal resi- dents, are essential to include in the event that questions on exact property locations, multiple resi- dences, or other issues arise. With more than 1,000 properties to designate with the reflective signs, they hope the project will be com- plete in the next couple of years.
    Fully Insured
Mark Dragon, President
PO Box 462, New Hampton, NH 03256

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