Boy Scouts help out Carriere Fire Department

Published 9:23 pm Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Carriere Boy Scout Troop Two was out in force on Saturday installing reflectors on roads in front of fire hydrants to make the hydrants more noticeable to firefighters.

Taylor Wagner, a member of the troop and an Eagle Scout candidate, said he proposed and planned the project with the help of his father, Carriere Fire Department Chief Tom Wagner. The markers help firefighters locate hydrants more quickly at night and during inclement weather.

“We’re doing this because the fire hydrants are not marked. If we mark these hydrants, the firefighters can get to them and know where they are,” Taylor Wagner said. “My dad said they needed them. He thought it would be a good idea.

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Tom Wagner said the scouts ordered the reflectors at a discounted price from Hy-Viz, Inc., in Lodi, N. J., and the company donated the installation kits. The project was funded by the Carriere Volunteer Fire Department Board of Directors and Carriere Fire District #11 Board of Commissioners, who split the cost of the markers.

The troops took several safety precautions, utilizing traffic cones, handheld “stop/slow” signs, and fluorescent vests provided by Coast Electric Power Association.

“Safety comes first. … We want to make sure it gets done, and that it also gets safely done,” Tom Wagner said.

The reflectors are installed using an adhesive mixed by the troops using two types of glue.

Taylor Wagner said the project is one he needs as he works towards his Eagle Scout badge.

“Eagle Scout is all about leadership. This project is to evaluate and test my leadership and organizational skills,” Taylor Wagner said.

Tom Wagner said although the markers are being used to mark locations of current fire hydrants, the hydrants currently located in Carriere are not up to the specifications they should be.

“The county has never had a system in place to require fire hydrants. We’re currently in the process of trying to get them upgraded,” Tom Wagner said.

The group of 13 scouts and four adults divided into three teams to cover the Carriere Fire District. To make the project a little more fun, Taylor Wagner named the three teams the “Yankees,” the “Rebels,” and the “Bulldogs”. The “Yankees” covered the northern part of the district, the “Rebels” covered the southern part of the district and the “Bulldogs” assisted with locations in all parts of the district.

“Taylor put me on the Yankee team, but I’m a graduate of Ole Miss, so I’d rather be a Rebel,” Tom Wagner said, laughing.