UAF Fire Department Teams with Boy Scouts to Install Flag Pole
Fairbanks, Alaska (AK) – A new 30 foot flag pole now stands proudly at 1950 University Avenue South.
After months of planning, inspections, permitting and fundraising, Troop 92 Boy Scouts raised USA and Alaska flags up the new pole in a ceremony on Sunday following the completion of an Eagle Scout Project at University Fire Station No. 12.
14-year-old Fairbanksan and West Valley High School freshman, Kieran Wright led the project that benefits both the community and the university.
University Fire Chief, Doug Schrage proposed the flag pole idea to Wright back in May, and they both agreed that it would be a good way to improve the landscaping at the Station and bring with it a sense of pride to the student firefighters and scouts.
“We’re delighted with the outcome,” said Chief Schrage. “It improves the appearance of our fire station, and it was something that our firefighters and staff were very enthusiastic to get involved with.”
“A flag pole is not a complicated project, but the planning and project design that goes into it is significant, especially for an Eagle Scout candidate,” said Chief Schrage. “We worked together to do all the planning, get the permits, procured the materials and under the leadership of Kieran we got it all done.”
Wright, who is currently ranked Life Scout was looking for a project that would advance him to the highest rank of Eagle Scout when his parents introduced him to Chief Schrage, a fellow member of the Fairbanks Rotary Club. “I talked to the Chief and we brainstormed some ideas,” said Wright. “And eventually we chose this one. It was challenging, but people respected me and I respect them for that. I very glad that the fire department has a flag pole they can be proud of.”
In addition to managing the project, Wright was also in charge of fundraising. Several private businesses donated cash, discounts and in-kind services.
“I couldn’t have completed the project without the support of Design Alaska, Rocky’s Plumbing and Heating, Fulford Electric, The Rental Zone, and University Fire Service Area Chair, Steve Adams,” said Wright. “I’m also grateful for the help I received from Chief Schrage and my parents.”
The Eagle Scout Rank is the highest rank a young man can earn in the Boy Scout program. The Eagle Scout Project is just a portion of achieving that rank. The scout has to meet with community leaders to find out what types of things may be needed, manage a task and give direction to not just his fellow scouts but also to adults.
“An Eagle project gives a scout leadership skills that he can use now and into adult life,” said Steven Smith, Scout Executive of the Midnight Sun Council. “These skills can carry them through school, college, and work. Completing a project shows that he has initiative and dedication to come up with a plan, put it in place and make it happen.”
A requirement of an Eagle project is that it must benefit a public entity—a fellow non-profit, or a community service. It cannot benefit the Boy Scouts. Smith said that the flag pole project demonstrates an enduring relationship between the Boy Scouts, the University of Alaska and the Fairbanks community.
“We’d like to be considered for other future Eagle Scout projects,” Chief Schrage stated. “We enjoy working with the scouts and it truly benefits the community.”