Francisco Smith reflects his concern for his southwest-side neighborhood.
The 16-year-old Boy Scout worked with fellow Scouts and others on Saturday to install 138 fire-hydrant reflectors in Star Valley. The subdivision is south of West Valencia Road and west of South Wade Road.
Smith researched hydrant reflectors after he learned about a Georgia Scout who did a similar project.
“My neighborhood needed the fire-hydrant reflectors. They will help firefighters locate hydrants more quickly during a fire, especially at night,” he said.
Sometimes hydrants are hidden by overgrown brush, and the reflectors also help firefighters find the hydrants when they have to inspect and test them, Smith said.
It took him three months to coordinate the project, which included creating a safety plan and obtaining a permit from the county for the installation.
Smith, with the help of his father, Andrew, and his brother, Pablo, 11, also collected $975 in donations, mostly from homeowners, businesses and friends, for the project, which cost $900. The rest of the money wasdonated to Drexel Heights Fire District, which covers the Star Valley subdivision.
The teen also recruited volunteers to help install the reflectors, which is part of his work to obtain the rank of Eagle Scout. More than 30 volunteers, including Drexel Heights Fire District personnel, helped install the hydrant reflectors.
The installations were done just before the start of national Fire Prevention Week, which runs through Oct. 12.
Drexel Heights Fire Chief Douglas Chappell praised Smith for wanting to make a difference in his neighborhood.
“His fire-hydrant roadway-reflector project will help us tremendously, saving us time, which could mean saving lives,” Chappell said.