VIRGINIA BEACH — A little friendly competition can be a good thing, even for first responders.
Each year, somewhere in Virginia, there’s a Rescue Challenge for firefighters. The past two have been held in Virginia Beach — this year’s at the city landfill on Potter’s Road.
With the loud sound of F-18 fighter jets as a backdrop, more than 250 “technical rescue experts from as far away as Ohio, Alabama, and New Jersey, joined others from across Hampton Roads to take part in the “O” course challenge.”
“Virginia Beach is a destination (for this type of event),” said Capt. Jon Rigolo of the Virginia Beach Fire Department. “We’ve been doing technical rescue since the early 1980s and have run a tactical school for 18 years.”
The training center on South Birdneck Road offers burn buildings, rubble piles, and even training for “live find” dogs that assist human rescuers when buildings have collapsed.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules are followed, as are National Fire Administration codes, Rigolo said.
The local team consisted of participants from Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News, and York County.