Changing the grid in Van Alstyne

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VAN ALSTYNE, Tex. -- City leaders and emergency personnel in Van Alstyne are working to improve response time in emergencies. To do that, they are changing the entire 911 grid.

Making sure emergency personnel have the right address when responding to calls is one of the biggest challenges a growing city can face.

Van Alstyne is no different, and with the help of Grayson County officials, getting to an emergency could be a faster trip in the near future.

Whether it’s for medical assistance or responding to a fire, callers to emergency dispatchers expect a quick response, but for that to happen, knowing how to get there is key.

In Van Alstyne, getting there is sometimes a problem.

"Some of our calls we're slowing down our response time for the ambulance and the police and it’s an issue that we needed to address and we needed to address it now not later as the city is still growing," Police Chief Robert Spindle says.

It's an issue that causes concern for some.

"I don’t know who or how it ended up like that but it should be the 200 block and then the 300 block well my house is 310 on the 200 block, and when I call the pizza guy he has a heck of a time trying to find me," Van Alstyne resident Robert Gevik says.

If a pizza delivery driver has trouble, imagine emergency services trying to find you in a hurry. That's why authorities say changes are on the way.

For example, a home in the 200 block of Jefferson has an address of 310. Officials say a new grid would re-number the lots. The plan would avoid repeating numbers.

"We gave one address to that lot and we probably should have skipped some numbers before we moved on to the next one." city manager Bill Herrington says.

City leaders expect the changes to cost around $22,000, but it's hard to put a price on being late when seconds count.

"We’re living on borrowed time and that’s what we want to straighten out, straighten it out now so as the city grows we can fill it in as it grows."

City officials say that while dozens of lots will be renumbered, it won't affect mailing addresses. Those will remain the same. The changes should take effect in six months.

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