TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - First Responders train for a variety of incidents and on Monday they completed necessary training for an unthinkable situation; a school bus crash.
The bus crash training exercise was hosted by Leon County Schools, and first responders were on hand at the mock scene, including firefighters and paramedics stabilizing the "victims."
Chris Petley, the Communications Manager for Leon County Schools explains, "The exercise... involved a rollover of one of the Leon County School buses as a training exercise. Local EMS responded, local fire department, Leon County Sheriffs Office, Tallahassee Police Department and we all worked together to kind of go through this training exercise. God forbid anything really occurs in the real world."
"Two years ago we had an incident where one of our busses was rear-ended and it caused it to flip over on it's side," says Mike Bellamy with the Tallahassee Fire Department, "So we took this, as they say ripped from the headlines, to use so we could train accordingly so we could be better prepared."
The conditions on the bus are difficult to maneuver explains Bellamy, "When you walk down the isle of a bus it's tight even when it's upright. So you can imagine on it's side how difficult it is to get through that bus."
There were over 300 bus drivers watching the exercise to help them understand the process in case anything ever did happen to a bus, says Bellamy.
Bellamy adds that, "It's a very tough scene. But we all work together to get it done, whether it's law enforcement, EMS, or fire."
One "victim" during the exercise, Trey Foltman, says that the exercise, "...felt real, I feel safer that we did that today to see how it works."
Petley says, "We are prepared, safety is our number one priority not just for parents, but for students, and for our drivers. So we do this accordingly, we're fourteen days away from school. We can't wait to see you, but understand that safety is our number one priority and your children will be safe everyday of the week."