Helipad launches Eagle Scout on his career path

Helipad launches Eagle Scout on his career path

Southeast Texas has yet another Eagle Scout, and this one is helping his local first responders meet the challenges of rural county living.

Timothy Rhodes of Crew 95 in Cleveland, Texas, said after volunteering at his local volunteer fire department in North Liberty County, he decided to help the rural first responders for his Eagle Scout project.

“I helped on the rig (fire truck) for about six months before I joined,” he said.

After securing donations of conduit, lighting, concrete and other heavy equipment, Rhodes set out to construct a helipad for medevac flights out of the rural area.

With the help of local businesses and his fellow scouts, Rhodes buried electrical conduit for lighting the helipad, painted the iconic “H” in the middle of the concrete slab and installed a windsock.

Rhodes said the hardest part was keeping everyone organized.

“When there’s a lot going on, a lot of people in different places, it’s kinda hard to manage it,” he said. “We had people digging and burying and people putting up the windsock and painting, spreading dirt. Just making sure everyone got everything done. It taught me sometimes things are hard to manage, but you can do it.”

Rhodes was sure to thank local businesses such as Romayor Grocery and the volunteer firefighters who helped build the pad.

“One of the guys from the fire department is a carpenter, so he came and helped,” he said. “There was a certified electrician too, so he helped us a lot on that end.”

The six-year trumpet player and senior at Hardin High School said he plans to attend LIT after graduating from Hardin High.

“I’ve already been accepted to Lamar Institute of Technology. If I get in and get my classes started, I should start June 3 to get my basic EMT to become a firefighter,” he said. “I just want to be a firefighter. That’s career path I’m taking right now.”

Rhodes’ 30x30 concrete helipad took a total of 138 man-hours and cost more than $2,000 to complete.

Already a volunteer firefighter with the North Liberty County Volunteer Fire Department, Rhodes said he can’t wait to start his life and career as a new Eagle Scout helping his fellow man.

“It makes you feel good helping people,” he said. “It’s just what I like doing.”

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