Outside Monroe Town Hall on Saturday morning, firefighter Kevin Catalano was occupied with a red fire hydrant. A group, of approximately 20 people stood around him; carefully observing his actions. He grabbed a long red rod with a little red flag on the top and attached it to the hydrant.
Catalano demonstrated how to install a hydrant marker to a group of volunteers, consisting of members of the Boy Scouts and parents. Richie Infante, 15, was especially excited. For his Eagle Scout project, he raised $1,300 since January to install 70 hydrant markers.
A tragic incident gave Infante the idea to raise money for hydrant markers. "A house burned down on my street,” Infante said. For almost a year, he went around from house to house asking for donations. Infante emphasizes the importance of fire hydrant visibility in the winter. "If you get a lot of snow, you can't put out the fire,” Infante said.
"This is a big help for us," Catalano said. "The Monroe Fire Department had to shovel a lot last winter, not knowing for sure where the snow covered hydrants were. Over past years the fire department installed more and more markers. About 20-25 markers were installed each year, but thanks to Infante, most of the markers will be in place after today."
After the demonstration, the volunteers broke up in groups in order to install the 70 new markers.