Calif. EMS Personnel and Firefighters Take Part in Bus Crash Drill

Calif. EMS Personnel and Firefighters Take Part in Bus Crash Drill

News Jun 09, 2017

June 07—Fire trucks, a helicopter and an overturned bus were at Princeton High School on Sunday morning—not as the result of tragedy, but in preparation for a possible one.

Captain Christopher Osborne of the Sacramento River Fire Department organized a multi-agency practice drill to give emergency personnel hands on experience responding to a school bus crash. He enlisted the help of Colusa County high school students, who acted as the "victims" in the hypothetical scenario.

Other fire departments from Colusa and Glenn counties participated in the drill, in addition to an ambulance and an emergency helicopter.

"This is good training for us, and it's needed," said Captain Christopher Osborne of the Sacramento River Fire Department. "More training makes it more proficient, and working with our partners helps us become more unified." Behind Princeton High School's football field, the fire department set up an old school bus—tipped over on its side—near crumbling vehicles that "caused the accident." Emergency personnel ran through the process of identifying and hauling off crash victims. A few lucky actors were able to ride in the helicopter -- albeit strapped to a gurney.

"My daughter liked it because she got to fly; they went up the river and circled back," said Steve Stocks, an engineer for the Princeton Fire Department. "They let her sit up a bit so she could see."

Overall, Osborne and his team thought the drill went well, and gave everyone involved valuable experience.

"The kids were great actors," said Derrick Ash, of the Sacramento River Fire Department. "I now have a huge respect for bus drivers—you have to give them a lot of credit."

After the kids went home, the fire department stayed behind to begin tearing apart the bus; they didn't want to risk the actors getting cut by glass and other debris. Firefighters took a few different approaches to gain entry to the overturned bus, and some were more successful than others.

"The glass is set differently so they can be removed, not smashed," Stocks said. "Certain places are easier to remove than others. Today, we were taught the easiest ways to access the bus."

Fire crews removed the back door and sawed through the roof of the bus. After the roof proved difficult to cut, they decided it wouldn't be the most efficient method to reach passengers; the firefighters favored breaking open the back door.

Continue Reading

Osborne said he plans to organize similar drills in the future to help keep emergency personnel on their toes.

___ (c)2017 the Glenn County Transcript (Willows, Calif.) Visit the Glenn County Transcript (Willows, Calif.) at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Kayla Webster
First responders, physicians, nurses, and dispatch officers practiced their active shooter protocols while the incident commander on scene was thrown curveballs as part of the scenario to test the individual's ability to prioritize actions.
Athanasia “Ethel” Ventura received the $1,000 reward from Platinum, whose goal is to provide students entering the EMS, Nursing, and Allied Health fields with assistance in funding their education.
The exercise featured a 7.0 magnitude earthquake causing a train derailment, which struck a car containing toxic chemicals.
"It's a hard fact that EMS sits in the epicenter of the opioid epidemic," said Rob Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer of Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA), at the Pinnacle EMS conference in Boca Raton, Florida.
How should EMS prepare for today's disaster threats?
Over 50 percent of respondents in a 2005 survey by the NAEMT say they have been assaulted by patients but receive little to no training on how to de-escalate violent patient situations.
The teams responded to a drill involving a drug lab at a university where a hazardous situation arose after a bad chemical reaction occurred.
It can be a habit that improves your practice and your life.
Norway joins six other countries by offering a bachelor’s degree in paramedic science.
Christine Uhlhorn, firefighter of 28 years and assistant fire chief, volunteered at a weekend-long camp to train middle school girls in basic firefighting skills to encourage recruitment.
High school students interested in firefighting can obtain hands-on practice with the fire truck and join a fire cadet training program after graduation.
The highly skilled team members practiced drills inside a local school in preparation for a possible active shooter situation.
The drill involving over 200 people put multiple first responder agencies to the test.
The training was based on lessons learned from the Columbine shooting and taught school employees safety and security measures.
The training will be focused on prescribing buprenorphine, the drug used to assist patients in quitting their opiate addiction and relieve withdrawal symptoms.