Boy Scout Hunter Brock has completed his service project. In order to obtain the distinction of Eagle Scout, he put Collins River Volunteer Fire Department on the map.
To be exact, he used Global Positioning System (GPS) to map the location of 52 hydrants for the department. GPS is a satellite-based navigation system composed of a network of satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. Made available for civilian use, the network can be used to provide coordinates to the nearest fire hydrant – after someone visits each one and collects the location data.
Brock says locating some of the hydrants was time consuming.
“I had to find the hydrants first,” he said. “There aren’t too many people with the fire department who know where they all are located. I went to the water department and even they didn’t know where all of them were. My dad and I went around looking for them. He knew where a lot of them were. We started looking for the others based on the information we obtained from the water department.”
Some of the hydrants were hidden from view by overgrown vegetation.
“I was surprised at how grown up the area was around some of the fire hydrants,” said Brock. “I had a lot of weeds that needed to be trimmed back and cut down. I think the most extreme case we had was right beside EMS station four. There was stuff growing up the utility pole. The vegetation was 10 feet high and 10 feet wide all the way around the pole.”
Brock says that fire hydrant was almost buried underground, while a second one was intentionally hidden from view by homeowners.
“When we finally got to it, it was in a hole in the ground,” said Brock. “I really don’t think the department would have found it, even if they were looking for it. It was buried. We had trouble finding one fire hydrant because the homeowner hated having it their yard so they planted two rose bushed on either side of it. You couldn’t see it, even if you were standing right next to it.”
Locating fire hydrants is time consuming in an emergency situation where every second counts. Now that the hydrants have been GPS mapped, the coordinates for the nearest fire hydrant will be readily accessible by E-911 dispatchers and relayed to firefighters using a cellphone app and Google Maps.
In order to become an Eagle Scout, a scout must plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project to a religious institution, school, or community. As a demonstration of leadership, the scout must plan the work, organize the personnel needed, and direct the project to its completion.
Brock is a member of Troop 309 and is the son of Tyson and Angela Brock.