When a police, fire or medical emergency comes up, losing even a few seconds can easily lead to catastrophe. And even something as seemingly minor as an unclearly marked house can cost first responders time. With this in mind, Wakefield Girl Scout Jenn Sullivan is working toward her Gold Award with a service project aiming to address this safety concern. The Gold Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can reach.
For her project, Sullivan assembled a team of about 20 volunteers earlier this summer who then drove through the West Side and Greenwood sections of Wakefield in search of houses that were missing address numbers or had them otherwise not clearly visible. If a home did meet this criteria, Jenn left a note from Fire Chief Michael Sullivan - who also happens to be her father - telling residents about the project and informing them of the safety issue.
Jenn's project focused on the West Side and Greenwood sections because several years ago, a separate Boy Scout service project did something similar in the Montrose area.
In a recent conversation with Wakefield Patch, Jenn said that she got the idea for her service project from her father's work, and she said that overall, the response from the homeowners has been "pretty good." Sullivan is about to start her sophomore year at Wakefield High School.
About 252 homes received the letters, and Sullivan later did a follow-up check, finding at that point that 109 of the homes had fixed the problem.
There's also a pretty remarkable coincidence in this story. Jenn and Chief Sullivan went to Hart's Hardware and purchased and installed a house number for one resident who was unable to do so on their own. One day later, emergency medical personnel responded to a 911 call from that same homeowner. Those who received letters about missing house numbers can buy new ones from Hart's, located on Main Street, if they bring the letter along.