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Community News: East

BOYLE HEIGHTS : Firefighters Address Need at Aliso Village

July 17, 1994|MARY ANNE PEREZ

An effort to paint building numbers at the Aliso Village Housing Project has not only made it easier for ambulances and firefighters to find their way to those in need, but residents are also getting about 30 missing street signs replaced.

The volunteer members of Explorer Post 2, a program run by the City Fire Department to teach 14- to 21-year-olds firefighting techniques, noticed that the signs were missing while they were conducting a two-day paint-out in March. They wrote Councilman Richard Alatorre, asking for the 14th District councilman's help in getting the city to install new signs, and enclosed a map that pinpointed the unmarked intersections.

The city Department of Transportation is in the process of intalling the new signs.

The paint-out was arranged after firefighters Rafael Rodriguez and Rick Shearer asked the Los Angeles Housing Authority to make building numbers more visible to emergency workers.

Housing Authority officials agreed, but told the men they did not have the funds. So the Explorers, who are affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, contacted Eastside businesses and collected donations of paint and supplies to paint the numbers themselves.

"They were hard to see, especially at nighttime and most addresses are on the door and there's a screen blocking them out," Shearer said. "This way, you can see at least if it's the right building."

Twelve of the post's 25 members volunteered a total of 138 hours to paint the eight placards that have been placed on each of the buildings in the Aliso Village project, which is home to 2,639.

The placards have also helped visitors as well, said Aliso Village manager Lawrence Green. "You would be surprised how much it's helped everybody."

Green did not know how much money it would have taken for his staff to do the job, but said it would not have been done without the volunteer effort.

Rodriguez, who drives a firetruck, and Shearer, a paramedic firefighter, have tried to repay some of the youths by finding them jobs in local businesses. Rodriguez was unavailable for comment because he had taken a group of Explorers on a camping outing.

"These kids are some of the poorest kids in East L.A. and they end up giving so much," Shearer said.

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