Credit: Albemarle County

Specialized Training Designed to Teach Firefighters how to Save Firefighters

Thanks to a thoughtful donation of resources, Albemarle County Fire Rescue will be conducting training over the next two weeks in Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge (WCBR) cottages marked for demolition.

The exercise will focus on Rapid Intervention Training (RIT), a specialized training designed to teach firefighters how to save firefighters. During the drill, ACFR personnel will undergo orientation to their RIT equipment; learn how to assess and extract a firefighter in distress; experience a wall breech, entanglement hazards, collapsed spaces, and limited access obstacles; and in-service a new piece of equipment designed to aid in rescue efforts.

This RIT training will prepare Albemarle County Fire Rescue staff to deal with situations in which firefighters are in distress and in need of rescue or assistance. While these sorts of events are rare, they are considered among the highest risk situations in an emergency.

“Firefighters can take huge risks in order to save another firefighter” said Scott Lambert, Training Division Chief, Albemarle County Fire Rescue. “The ability to simulate and practice these techniques in a non-emergency situation in real conditions, is invaluable. We are very grateful to Westminster-Canterbury for reaching out to us and generously allowing us to train in their cottages marked for demolition.”

Training will occur at 246 Pantops Mountain Road and 248 Pantops Mountain Road (Cottages at Westminster-Canterbury) during the following dates and times:

Albemarle County Fire Rescue Captain Drew Knick will be available on a scheduled basis for any media requests. Access to the scene can be coordinated, and footage during rescue events will be permitted.

Please coordinate any media requests through Christina Davis ( so we can plan accordingly.

“We are very happy to be able to help the Fire Rescue team with their training” said WCBR President and CEO Gary Selmeczi, “They are a valuable resource both to Westminster-Canterbury and to the larger community. We appreciate all that they do and are pleased to help.”

Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge (WCBR) is Charlottesville’s only accredited, not-for-profit LifeCare community.  WCBR is home to more than 400 residents, most of whom live independently in cottages and apartments. WCBR also provides a full continuum of care including assisted living, memory support and short- and long-term nursing care in private accommodations, all on site.