Technical Rescue Teams raise more than concrete and steel

11173379_885168681529622_4577126765021241295_nTechnical Rescue teams from all across Virginia converged in Roanoke the first week of May.

The teams were there to participate in an annual training event known as “Rescue Challenge”.

The event, moves through various host localities each year and attracts more than 10 teams who participate in 8 complex rescue scenarios over a 4 day period.

These teams are usually composed of members who make up  local, regional and even Federal Strike Teams and Task Forces.

Teams face a wide range of scenarios including Rope / High Angle, Confined Space, Extrication, Swift Water, Trench, Cave, Heavy Equipment Rescue, derailments and more!

11188371_1040180629344854_6353626860402263866_nIn essence, this is the best of the best being tested to their limits.

In Roanoke, the teams faced an extrication scenario involving a logging truck and passenger vehicle.

These were massive logs posing stabilization and pt access issues.

Although each team may have tackled the situation from a different angle, odds are that at a minimum they were operating their tools from a ladder.

In another scenario, teams used a cutting torch while on rope, several stories off the ground.

10458629_886630684716755_4724024929148220327_nOne scenario paired a confined space scenario with rope and high angle.

Unique to Roanoke, teams also faced “The Screaming Jack Ass”.

Over a ton of steel that has to be moved through an obstacle course  using limited tools / resources.

Needless to say, 20 years since it’s inception; Rescue Challenge continues to test the participating  teams abilities and provides valuable training to their members.

Pictures below are from Rescue Challenge 2015 in Roanoke, Va and were found on various Face Book pages of members such as Eddie Chitwood and Chad Riddleberger.


Learn MORE about the Technical Rescue Association of Virginia HERE 

11193343_10152965399062893_5804487428011384467_nAs big of a success as the Challenge was, these members ended up lifting way more than concrete and steel. They also lifted the Brotherhood and each other’s spirits…

At the end of the Challenge, all the teams got together for a dinner.

This was actually one of the few chance the teams got to interact with each other over the week as they had been busy going from site to site and participating in the various scenarios.

The dinner was Wednesday night, May 6th. That is also the day the DC Fire / EMS Lt. Kevin McRae died In The Line Of Duty while operating at a 2nd alarm fire in a high rise complex.

Many of the members on site knew or had worked with Lt McRae. Obviously, his death hit the teams hard.

Sponsors had donated several items for the dinner which were to be given out to the participants through a raffle.

IAFF L36When one of the first members walked to the front to collect his winnings, he tossed it back up and said to sell it and send the money to Lt. McRae’s family.

That one thought / gesture is all it took. The next few winners did the same thing and next thing you know, the raffle turned into an auction.

Between passing the boot and auctioning off the raffle prizes, the Brothers and Sisters in attendance raised around $7,000!

A local sponsor / supporter of Rescue Challenge and a long time, close and personal friend, Jamey Brads of Blue Ridge Rescue Suppliers (link) made a generous donation and brought the total up to $10,000!

That my friends is BROTHERHOOD at it’s finest! Brothers and Sisters coming together to take care of the family of one of our fallen. WELL DONE BROTHERS … well done!


Funeral Arrangements for Lt. Kevin McRae

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Captain Wines