This morning The Horseheads Central School District Transportation Department held an emergency response training seminar for fire-fighters from around Chemung county.
“We train our local fireman for Chemung County and to train them how to evacuate a child that’s on a school bus whether it be turned over, whether it may be a fire, any kind of accident that’s going on to make sure that they get out as safe as can be without any more injury at all.” Said Jason Johnson from the Horseheads School District.
Late last month a school bus in Elmira flipped on its side after hitting a garbage truck. The driver and one student on board suffered only minor injuries. Today’s drill included a bus simulator on its side to ge the fire-fighters a first hand look at what obstacles they could face.
“To see the minimal amount of room you’ve got to work with, with the seats on the side on the windows, and if the kids are big or small, it’s gonna be tough to get them out but, you have to think, you have to think as soon as you come up on the scene on what you’re gonna do.” Don Fisher said, who is a Town and Country Fire Chief.
Fire-fighters learned how buses are designed, built and powered. They also learned about exits, seating propane and more.
Firefighter Heidi Fudge-Wheeler says a few things she learned from the drill, “How to enter the bus, how to put the bus into a safer position, how to put out a fire, if there is a fire, accidents and how to enter the bus which tools would be the best tools to use.”
Eventually, fire officials would like to see simulated bus disaster drills held regularly throughout the Twin Tiers. But in the meantime, school officials hope the training skills used today will never need to be put into action.