DOWDY FIREPLUGS GET THE EAGLE EYE

jackhayesmontage1. Scout Jack Hayes, who organized the hydrant-painting effort. 2. Ryan Jacobs, 15, left and Myles Donohue, 16, of Boy Scout Troop 67 at work on Shrewsbury Avenue. 3. The hydrant location list Hayes complied for volunteer painters. 4. Charlie Hayes (Jack’s uncle), left and Boy Scout Sam Catoaski, 12, on West Front Street. (Click to enlarge)

Fifty-five Red Bank fire hydrants got a fresh, high-gloss coat of red paint Saturday.

The brushwork was done by nearly two dozen volunteers enlisted and directed by Jack Hayes, a 17-year-old Fair Haven resident who made the one-day repainting campaign task his leadership test in his bid to win Eagle Scout designation in the Boy Scouts.

Working with fellow scouts from Troop 67 and their fathers, as well as with the borough public works department, which supplied the paint, Hayes oversaw the project without actually picking up a brush himself.

“It felt like I had power,” he said with a chuckle. “All I did was kind of guide the volunteers.”

The decision to paint the white-and-red hydrants all red was made by public works Director Gary Watson in order to simplify the work, Hayes said. Most of the fireplugs painted were on the town’s West Side.

In order to complete his Eagle Scout requirements, Hayes, a junior at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, must now write a report on what was done, how the project played out compared to his plan, and how it benefits the community.

The goal, he sad, was to make the fireplugs more readily visible to volunteer firefighters.

Troop 67 is based at the First Presbyterian Church at Tower Hill on Harding Road, with boys from Red Bank and surrounding towns participating, says Jack’s father, John Hayes.