VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — First responders from across the nation are learning critical new skills from the Virginia Beach Fire Department to save people if a building collapses.

“It’s nice to know that our folks are out there well trained and well prepared when they leave here to operate safely at a collapse structure,” said Jon Rigolo with the Virginia Beach Fire Department.

Firefighters like Daniel Giles came from Danville, Virginia, for the eight-day course. “It is super exciting to be here,” said Giles, who’s with the Danville Fire Department. “Just the atmosphere. The instructors have so much knowledge.”

The Virginia Task Force 2 team are experts in crane operations — breaking through concrete — and heavy lifting. The team deployed last June to Surfside, Florida, when an apartment building collapsed. Instructors say they update the class yearly when there are new advances in technology.

“We are seeing a lot more battery operated tools or electric tools being used,” said Rigolo. “We are adjusting our training to meet the tools out there and what is available, and what we learn from the events.”

From natural disasters to man-made tragedies, the hands on course will help firefighters rescue and recover people trapped under buildings.

“So blessed to be here and have the ability to do it with the other guys and girls,” Giles said. “It is awesome for each and every one of us.”