Scouts provide emergency kits for Spring Hill Elementary School

Boy Scout Patrick Neuner, second from right, shows his fellow Boy Scout volunteers how to pack the emergency backpacks which were installed at Spring Hill Elementary in Fayetteville. Photo/John Munford.

A Fayetteville elementary school now has 30 classrooms equipped with special emergency response kits thanks to local Boy Scout Patrick Neuner.

A member of troop 73 in Fayetteville, Neuner said he got the idea to create the kits for Spring Hill Elementary School after learning of the tornado that damaged Enterprise High School in Enterprise, Ala., killing eight students.

“I just saw it on TV and I thought that was a really scary situation and I didn’t want it to happen here,” Neuner said.

Neuner secured donations and raised over $1,000 to equip the kits, which have items that will come in handy should disaster strike: from basic first-aid equipment such as band-aids, gauze and saline to clean debris from one’s eyes to a mini-crowbar, which could come in handy to knock out windows in the event of an emergency evacuation.

The kits are contained in a clear plastic backpack with a laminated inventory card inside to help teachers make sure the kit is fully stocked each year.

Neuner was joined by 25 volunteers, most of whom were fellow Boy Scouts, Feb. 16 to pack the kits assembly-line style and install them on hangars in classrooms at Spring Hill Elementary.

Neuner credited Enterprise High School Principal Rick Ranier, whom Neuner personally interviewed, for devising the list of items to go in each kit.

“Without his help, I really would have had no true idea of what is needed in an emergency,” Neuner said.

Neuner also credited Spring Hill Principal Randy Hudson for the crowbar idea, which was devised in response to the tragic shooting in December at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

The emergency kit project was devised to meet the requirements of an Eagle Scout project as Neuner hopes to join the highest rank available in scouting.

Neuner is a freshman at Whitewater High School. His parents are Don and Karen Neuner of Fayetteville. His troopmaster with Troop 73 is Jimmy Jones.

Neuner said he was very thankful for everyone’s support for his project from donors to volunteers and school staff members.

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