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The Eagle Scout service project of a teen whose grandfather is a retired York City fire chief will teach firefighter trainees to navigate small, obstacle-filled spaces in the dark calmly, and also help seasoned firefighters keep their skills honed, current city Fire Chief Chad Deardorff said.

“It’s a phenomenal training tool,” Deardorff said, adding he’d been thinking about adding one for some time. “We’re excited to use it, and we’re very appreciative of Max and the other Scouts.”

Max Iacono, 16, of York Township, researched and designed the department’s new SCBA competency maze. SCBA stands for self-contained breathing apparatus, which are the air tanks firefighters wear.

His fellow Scouts from Boy Scout Troop 69 of Jacobus then helped him build the maze, he said — with a big assist from Assistant Scoutmaster Mark Ness, who owns a woodworking shop, and Scoutmaster David Grove.

Serving the community runs in the teen’s family.

Max, whose current rank is Life Scout, is the grandson of retired York City Fire Chief David Love and the son of Len and Jessica Iacono. Max’s mom is a retired York County 911 dispatcher who in 2011 was named the county’s dispatcher of the year.

Housed in the basement training area of the city’s Station 9 firehouse at the corner of Roosevelt and Maryland avenues, the wooden maze is 4 feet high and 4 feet wide, built in 8-foot sections. The multiple units are modular so the maze can be reconfigured differently for every training session, and the units’ “lids” are on hinges so trainers can see what’s going on inside.




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