SAVING LIVES – Scouts make sure fire detectors work
Dallas Waters of Ripon wanted an Eagle Scout project that could possibly save a life.
And since his dad Kirk Waters is Manteca’s fire chief what better way than to keep people safe from fires.
The Troop 440 Boy Scout was touched by the loss of life in a recent mobile home fire at Manteca’s Almond Blossom Mobile Home. He organized 60 fellow scouts, adults and members of the fire department’s Seniors Assisting Fire Effort volunteer group. Troop 414 from Manteca was also involved.
Waters’ troop is sponsored by the LDS Church meeting at the Northland Road meeting house, north of Manteca. The troop has a history of turning out more than a dozen Eagle Scouts over the past years. They are looking forward to another massive Court of Honor that may include Waters. An Eagle rank is the highest that can be attained by teens in Scouting. There will be some 10 to 12 boys getting their Eagle awards in November.
Their troop has a plaque on the wall with brass name plates recognizing their Eagle Scouts from 1997 to 2013.
Brandon Williamson, of Ripon, who took part in the work project conducted his Eagle project last October at Weston Elementary School.
Dallas held a series of group orientations for those helping him to inspect the mobile homes. With ladders in hand, the young inspectors walked the length of the park asking residents if they could check their smoke detectors. The boys got on ladders to reach the detectors with spray cans of an accelerant that would activate the alarms when they were working properly.
The scouts had handed out fliers door to door the day before their Saturday morning sweep to alert residents of the project. Those who were not at home when the scouts knocked received another visit later in the afternoon.
Retired Manteca Fire Department Battalion Chief Randy May was among the SAFE volunteers who aided the Scouts in checking out the smoke detectors. He noted carbon monoxide detectors should be mounted low in the rooms rather than near the ceilings.
SAFE volunteer Laura Both credited the teens for their teamwork.
Everybody has working smoke detectors now and each home has a carbon monoxide detector and new batteries in existing detectors, she said. For those not working at all, they are scheduled to be replaced, she added.