Journal Staff

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By Journal Staff

Prison lockdowns in Hill County (Texas) comprised the first set of problems delaying a $50,000 project to post 9-1-1 signs for the sake of emergency responders.

The second was heat at the time in July when the signs were ready to deliver once overcoming the lockdown issue.

“Then it was so hot, it was hard to get volunteers to erect the signs,” Barbara Leetun, president, Board of Directors of Hill County Emergency Services District (ESD) 2 told newspaper reporters.

Fortunately, a Boy Scout with his eye on achieving a higher ranking came on scene.

According to a story in The Reporter (Hillsboro, Texas), volunteer fire departments were 50/50 on putting up the signs when in July ESD 2 board members approached them, even when offered $1,000 to help with the project. While some had completed the work by November, others had only partially completed the work in their jurisdictions or, as of December, were revving up to meet an extended deadline.

That’s where Hillsboro Boy Scout J.C. Faulkner found his opening. He took on the project for Malone Volunteer Fire Department in the interest of his Eagle Scout badge and for the sake of his grandfather. Faulkner said he wanted to make sure emergency responders could find his grandfather’s home, west of Malone, in case of a medical crisis.

The intrepid Faulkner organized a 26-person work crew and together they spent seven hours putting up more than 250 signs in the city of Malone and along 50 miles of road in the Malone VFD service area.

Despite delays for paperwork, Faulkner received enough to qualify for the badge.

The district applied for signage funds in 2010 from the Hill County Commission to help responders reporting trouble in finding addresses, especially at night. Following Faulkner’s lead, three Future Farmers of America chapters and two churches have since stepped forward to erect the remaining signs in time for deadline.