David Jack Wheeler of Baker City, Oregon, was a civil engineer with the United States Forest Service who lost his life in the course of performing his duties in the Payette National Forest. Mr. Wheeler was on a work detail in the forest, scheduled to last fewer than six weeks, to inspect bridges. On April 26, 1995, while inspecting a bridge at a guard station, he was brutally murdered by two teenage boys who had walked away from a detention center.
Baker City is a close-knit community in Eastern Oregon, and the town was deeply affected by the loss of Mr. Wheeler. Mr. Wheeler’s death had a tremendous impact on the entire Baker City community since he was an active and committed civic leader in his adopted Oregon hometown.
Mr. Wheeler was born on June 30, 1945, in Tarrytown, New York. He was raised and educated on Long Island, New York. He attended the University of Rhode Island at Kingston, and received a degree in civil engineering. Mr. Wheeler joined the Wallows-Whitman National Forest in 1989, and he and his family settled in Baker City.
At the time of his death, Mr. Wheeler was president-elect of the Baker City Rotary Club; a leader in the United Methodist Church, where he served as Chair of the Staff-Parish Relations Committee; coach at the local YMCA; and a member of the Baker County Community Choir. In 1994, Mr. Wheeler was selected by the Baker County Chamber of Commerce as the Baker County Father of the Year.
David Wheeler was a model Forest Service employee, a dedicated family man, and an admired and respected citizen. H.R. 2061 is a fitting tribute to Mr. Wheeler for the sacrifice he made in service to this country.
To meet new code requirements for a Class A fire alarm system, 6,000 feet of conduit and wire (14 AWG, 16/2 AWG and 16/2 AWG shielded cable) was added on 6 floors of the David J. Wheeler Federal Building. Point of Sales equipment for USPS was relocated to make room for a Silent Knight fire alarm control panel. The 150 new devices installed include strobes, speakers, horn strobes, smoke detectors, duct detectors and pull stations. Qualified audibility/intelligibility tests were performed in accordance with Region 10 federal policies and GSA policies. The building’s old devices and wire were removed. Tritium powered exit signs were also replaced with battery powered LED signs.
We replaced a granite sign for the David J. Wheeler Federal Building as well as a wooden post sign for the USDA Forest Service. Ground was excavated, the old signage and their foundations were demolished and removed. Forms were put into place and new reinforced concrete footings were poured to support a 10 foot granite sign and a 5 foot steel tubular sign.