A group of Iroquois Job Corps students were honored with a lunch at the Genesee County Fire Training Center, after completing a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) Training Maze at the county training grounds.

After completing the new training maze, students were able to experience the maze they helped construct while wearing firefighting gear, adding up to 100 lbs. of weight!

The new training maze replaces the old maze, which was created by Iroquois Job Corps students in the 1990s.

The new maze is designed for firefighters in Genesee County to enhance their skills and build their confidence when entering a home or building during a fire.

“There are different evolutions and scenarios and it helps them use their senses. We usually send them through without visual ability by obscuring their masks to create smoke conditions inside a fire,” says Tim Yaeger, coordinator for Genesee County Emergency Management Services

“It’s not always the same each time they go through it. There is a tunnel, a ramp that goes up, stairs that go down and some small, tight corners. It helps them build confidence in themselves and the gear that they are wearing.”

The training maze project started with a new barn/garage that was constructed, which houses the maze. There was also a two-year planning process to secure funding and donations. Deputy coordinator Gary Patnode looked at several plans before deciding on one that fit Genesee County the best. “84 Lumber made a very generous donation, covering three quarters of the material cost. We then reached out to the Job Corp and they took us in with open arms,” added Patnode.

The students who participated in the project are part of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) Job Corps Carpentry Pre-Apprenticeship Program, covering brick, electrical, paint, CMA and CNA.

“It was quite a project for these students to do,” says Robert Trautwein, carpenter instructor at Iroquois Job Corp. “It’s been great working with these guys, they have been patient with us to start with, because it took us a while to get back to it. It was a great learning experience.”

In total, the students put over 300 hours of work into the project!

UBC Job Corps Training Maze constructed

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