Site Content


Manage the "MCI in a can" with these five suggestions

Five tips for managing Passenger Transportation Accidents

1. Planning: Situational Awareness is important for all levels of the response community. Knowing your response area and the types of hazards therein is the first step. Pre-incident planning is also a necessity and must involve surrounding agencies. Don't forget to include the non-traditional responders and the health care system in your area in your pre-incident panning and training. Perhaps a best first step is to remember that it CAN happen here.

2. Responding: The actions of the first-in crews will dictate the outcome of the event. I recommend that everyone know where they're going, do something smart with your apparatus, and keep in mind there are events when it is better to not just do something...but stand there. LOCATE (Location, Obstacles, Conditions, Accessories, Treatment, Extra help) works for transpiration accidents as well as single patient response.

3. Managing the scene and incident command: The first suggestion...ask yourself how bad can this get? Then ask; Are we ready for this bus crash? Incident manages, rescue and triage branch leaders need to consider a few immediate actions when working at a passenger transportation accident: the injury/fatality ratio, understand where people (and kids) like to sit while riding buses, and that existing openings (doors and windows) may not be accessible.

4. Emergency Incident Rehabilitation: This may be the most important part of planning, responding and managing any event. Effective rehab helps to keep your personnel safe and working. We should be trying to run a good rehab at every incident. Use my  5 LEVEL Steps to Proper Incident Rehab and use these 4 points to make your Emergency Incident Rehab Functional.

5. Know general bus types and construction: You have to be able to get in and get out of the bus. A general working knowlege of school bus construction features is a tremendous benefit. Don't worry about getting too detailed...just understand the basics of construction and types of school buses.
Doing so will help improve planning, response and management.


  1. Another area often overlooked is a staging/receiving area for incoming parents/relatives and press. The family members will be responding with something between "highly focused and directed" and "panicked" response (especially in the school bus case). The response for this is pretty simple - set up a nice, comfortable staging area just for family members/relatives (and inevitably the press) and flood it with information. Tap out several strong leaders - a good PIO, a dedicated Liason, and probably lots of key representatives from the affected agencies (like the school district). If you can afford it, get some people (ref: the non-trad responders point from the article) setup to collect key info (who are you looking for, who are you, what is your relationship, how do we get in contact with you when we track down more information about your loved one, etc.).

    ...and congratulations, you handled the "family rush" at the scene and will ultimate tell them that the person they are looking for is on their way to the hospital(s) - flooding the hospitals with the same problem you just weathered (maybe we should have had a few hospital liaisons or information flows as well).

    JD Burke (

  2. JD - you bring out an important, yet often overlooked, point. Thank you.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.