GETZVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Getzville Fire Company held its annual Rapid Intervention Training course, GRIT this weekend.

GRIT is described as a two-day intensive course to aid local firefighters in rescuing lost, trapped or injured colleagues, in “rapid deployment situations,” by using various scenarios. Many of these training scenarios have been inspired by past incidents in which firefighters died.

GRIT developer Bob Zacher provided some insight as to what firefighters are put through in the training — what some would describe as a nightmare of a situation.

“We’ve created a bunch of scenarios,” he said. “Some of them involve collapses, some of them would be impalements, and other things that have caused line of duty deaths.”

The training deals with situations of fire development, search and rescue, self-rescue, emergency air procedures and more.

“We’ve tried to create the worst day for any firefighter,” Zacher added. “This would often involve collapses, basically low visibility, loud noises, multiple victims and those types of things.”

This year, 48 firefighters are taking the course.

“It’s important for every firefighter to be prepared, not only to do our job and rescue civilians, but there’s no one else coming in for us but us,” Zacher said.

Former Buffalo Fire Department Commissioner Mike Lombardo also noted the training’s importance, reflecting on his time in the department.

“During my career, 20 firefighters in the Buffalo Fire Department were killed in the line of duty,” he said. “And that’s a very, very difficult thing to deal with. Believe me.”

Lombardo recalled a few incidents from his career in which firefighters were lost that still stick out in his mind.

“We had an incident where five firefighters were killed [in] 1983, an incident where two firefighters were killed [in] 2009, and a number of singular events that took the lives of firefighters,” he said.

Firefighters from all around Western New York, and even Canada, attended the training. Lombardo said he hopes it helps his brothers and sisters in the line of duty answer the call.

For more information about the Getzville Fire Company, click here.

Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.

Abby Fridmann is an anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in November 2020. See more of her work here.