In 2008, the city of Presidio passed an ordinance requiring residents to post their house numbers. But in rural areas, knowing your own address isn't always as simple as it seems. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)
By Sally Beauvais
If you find yourself in need of a trip to the emergency room in the West Texas border town of Presidio, the odds may be stacked against you.
Low on resources and manpower, the local emergency medical services crew—responsible for roughly 1,500 square miles of the county—can operate only one of their two ambulances at a time. From city limits, it’s a 90-mile drive to the closest U.S. hospital. A trip from one of the outlying communities, like Candelaria or Ruidosa, can run you close to three hours —barring interference from loose cattle, or a rain-flooded creek running into the road.
But there’s another, less obvious hurdle that can delay first responders in getting to you in this remote part of the state: finding your front door.