Preparing for the worst

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Bobby Ellis
bobby.ellis@education.ky.gov

It’s one of the worst nightmares a school or parent can imagine, a school bus involved in a crash.

Luckily on this day, the crash is simulated. The injuries nothing more than latex and fake blood. 

At the Bluegrass Railroad and Museum in Versailles, first responders got to train in an exercise simulating a bus and train collision. As part of the exercise, participants acted out different injuries, ranging in severity. Firefighters even pried the windshield off the tipped bus to access the inside of the vehicle. 

“It was a crazy experience being on that bus,” said Mason Salvo, a sophomore a Moore High School (Jefferson County). “You see all these firefighters opening the window in front of your face, you hear it cracking and it almost scares you. It feels like it’s real and you really get into it.”

The entire point of the exercise is to provide as realistic a situation as possible in an attempt to help emergency crews respond to dangerous situations more quickly, according the Freeman Bailey, the director of Woodford County EMS, who organized the event. 

“We have smoke and screaming kids and parents, it’s all supposed to make it as stressful as possible,” said Bailey.

Woodford County firefighters use knives to cut out the windshield of a tipped school bus during a mass casualty simulation at the Bluegrass Railroad and Museum.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, May 20, 2017
Woodford County firefighters carry a volunteer acting as a victim during a mass casualty simulation.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, May 20, 2017
Police officers determine the severity of injuries inside the tipped over bus at the mass casualty simulation at the Bluegrass Railroad and Museum.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, May 20, 2017
Woodford County firefighters pull out the windshield of the tipped over bus to make it easier to reach those inside.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, May 20, 2017
Woodford County firefighters carry Sam Bear, acting as an injured student, during the mass casualty simulation.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, May 20, 2017
Woodford County firefighters carry out the actor portraying an injured bus driver, who received a simulated severe head wound during the crash.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, May 20, 2017
Medical personnel use a gurney to take the injured bus driver to an ambulance. Volunteers playing severely injured or dead passengers were not allowed to speak and some were transported to a makeshift triage area.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, May 20, 2017

 

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