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Teen Fund Drive for Hydrant Markers Makes Town a Safer Place

Monroe teenager raises money for 70 hydrant markers as his Eagle Scout project. With a group of volunteers, those markers will be installed all over town.

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.

QWERTY November 30, 2011 at 06:47 PM
Props to the boy scouts but $1,300 for hydrant markers?!!? Who's getting rich off this scam? I need to get into the fire hydrant marker business...
Brian Quinn November 30, 2011 at 08:37 PM
Richie, You are doing a great service for the town of Monroe. I worked with Cody Pereira on another part of the town some years ago for his Troop 62 Eagle Project. It was very rewarding seeing those flags sticking out of the deep snow we saw last winter as I drove to work each day.
Steve Kirsch November 30, 2011 at 10:38 PM
QWERTY, this is no scam - just look at the prices on the web. Maybe you should try to build a marker for less cost and then sell to all the towns since there are many hydrants without these markers. This was a great idea for a scout project. However, it also raises the question - how many more markers did the town purchase since last winter? There were hydrants covered in snow last year and we need these all around town.
Christine E. November 30, 2011 at 10:45 PM
Why are these markers so expensive? What are they made out of, gold? lol.
Darlene December 01, 2011 at 02:39 AM
What a great idea for a project, too bad the markers are so expensive and all of them aren't marked.
Rich December 01, 2011 at 01:24 PM
They are not even $20 apiece-Not like it is a Huge amount. Why do you have to find something bad it what is a great story?
Alex December 01, 2011 at 03:51 PM
Yeah Markers are expensive, but the labor was free here so certainly worth it. I was able to get Lowes to donate 500 dollars of floor material for my Eagle project to build a stage. It was for a church, not a town, so that probably made some difference. Good project and good to see more Eagle Scouts!
Christine E. December 01, 2011 at 04:02 PM
I do think it's a great story, Rich. Don't mistake my question for lack of caring. I just can't justify $18 for an orange stick. Kudo's for the scouts doing something wonderful for the community, though!
Christine E. December 01, 2011 at 04:11 PM
Steve, Do you know what makes hydrant sticks different than the average driveway marker? I'm asking this in all seriousness. Why are they so expensive? What are they made out of? Can't just be plastic...
QWERTY December 01, 2011 at 04:17 PM
Steve, $18 for a driveway stick + flag is a scam. I get 5 cents a pound for steel at the metal company so the cost of materials can't be the culprit.
Peg December 01, 2011 at 05:10 PM
Great project! This young man is a credit to himself, his family, his scout troop and his town! He saw a need and he made it happen... and at a very reasonable cost ...and no cost to the town! Hooray for his good idea!
Steve Kirsch December 01, 2011 at 11:32 PM
Christine, there are a few differences that I can think of. All hydrant markers have some way to be attached to the hydrant, many are made of metal, some are longer than the average driveway marker, some have flags attached, and some are bigger (larger diameter). QWERTY, following your logic, almost everything we buy is a scam because almost everything we buy costs more than the raw materials. I'm sure that if someone wanted to construct these and sell them without recovering labor costs, equipment costs, the cost facilities, and a profit, the markers could be sold for a lot less.
uc14 December 02, 2011 at 06:55 AM
for one thing, im sure the hydrant markers business isn't the most competitive with tons of customers so the price is probably a bit marked up as its a specialty item... you can make the same argument for hockey and lacrosse sticks. if you take the time to actually search online you'll see hydrant markers well above the $18 estimate everyone has been making. you people need to stop being so damn captious with everything on patch; its getting a bit excessive when you're placing a negative spin on community service projects.
Adam Gitow December 02, 2011 at 12:27 PM
After seeing this story, I did my own research on the price of these markers. You are right about them being a little expensive. But isn't everything that is for a specialty market? Medicine come to mind? That said, this young fellow did his homework and secured these markers at about the best price out there. Ask yourself this question: If your house was on fire & there was a hydrant on the road near your house but couldn't be found because it was buried in snow, would THAT be worth $18?
QWERTY December 02, 2011 at 03:53 PM
Who is putting a negative spin on it?! I was simply calling out whoever charges $20 per marker. You'd think maybe they would give the Boy Scouts a deal or something since this is a community project...
Christine E. December 02, 2011 at 06:19 PM
Adam, Did I say it was bad to buy them? no. I just said they were expensive. Don't try to make more out of my statement than I actually intended.
Christine E. December 02, 2011 at 06:23 PM
I didn't realize asking a question about the cost and make of a hydrant marker was so negative. I fully support what the kids did. I also agree with QWERTY - would be nice to see a business cut the kids a break. They did a good thing for the community and, given the mark up on items such as these, even cutting the cost by 50 cents per stick would have been a nice gesture. Nothing negative about that either.
Christine E. December 02, 2011 at 06:24 PM
And many generic medications can be found at stop and shop for free, while others charge money...so i fail to see your analogy.

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