MANVILLE: During a fire, Eagle Scout’s stencils could save lives

Matthew Miller organizes effort to paint hydrant indicator on streets’ pavement.

By Mary Ellen Day, special Writer
   Troop 193 Boy Scout Matthew Miller, of Hillsborough, moved one step closer to achieving the highest rank in Boy Scouting by mapping out storm drains in Manville.
   He stenciled a firemen’s cross on the road surface to indicate the location of fire hydrants in case the hydrants are obscured by debris.
   ”I believed that this was important concern that would be very beneficial to the community,” Matthew said.
   Matthew and his fellow Scouts and leaders spent about four Saturdays and Sundays locating the fire hydrants and placing the stencils on the roads.
   The overall Eagle project took a couple of months, starting with the conception of the project, writing the proposal, getting proper permits and signatures, carrying out the stenciling and writing the final report.
   The plan included doing at least 300 hydrants in six sections of Manville.
   Public Works crews and fire departments will look on the road for a 12-inch by 4-inch white cross 4 feet from a fire hydrant.
   ”Spending time trying to locate a fire hydrant in an emergency wastes precious time that could be needed in the emergency,” he said.
   Markers on the road could shorten response time in a fire and potentially save lives, he said.
   Matthew is a 2013 graduate of Immaculata High School and has been a Scout in Troop 193 in Manville for many years.
   ”I choose to carry out my project in Manville instead of Hillsborough because Manville is the hometown of my Boy Scout Troop 193,” he said. “I thought that it would be more meaningful to help the community that has supported my troop. I also considered it would be easier to get help from my fellow Scouts from my troop.”
   He added, “After choosing, planning, and completing my Eagle Project, I feel very proud of myself. Not many people who join Scouting get their Eagle rank, and this is my first true project that I had led.”
   ”This project is a glimpse into the real world where projects on a bigger scale go through the same kind of process of choosing, planning, and completion,” he said. “That makes me feel like I have an edge when I get in the working world.”