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Bus Rescue: Interior

Front windows may not be an easy exit
For gaining access and ease of evacuation, remember three simple points: Use existing openings, enlarge existing openings, or make your own opening. The example used in this series is a full-size school bus has been turned on its passenger side. The side exits and passenger side windows have been rendered inaccessible leaving the front, rear, and roof as access points.
In Through the Roof we concentrated on gaining access and enlarging existing opening. Exit at the Back of the Bus demonstrated the need to open large areas for extrication. In this installment of Bus Rescue, we'll focus on interior operations that create space for extrication and disentanglement.

Side door access blocked by seats
Above: The side rescue door now sits at the top side of the bus. Access from the exterior can be difficult. Don't forget that access to this door may be difficult from the inside as well. Here we see two seats that will impeded the use of this exit door. These seats can be quickly and easily removed.

Hydraulic tools cut seat posts quickly
Above: Hydraulic cutting tools can be used to quickly remove seats by cutting the posts. Remember to cut the posts as low as possible, close to the floor. Gasoline power generators for hydraulic cutting tool systems must be positioned outside and away from the bus to prevent the introduction of carbon monoxide.

Below: A battery powered saw can accomplish the task of seat post removal. All tools must be well maintained with replacement blades readily available as well as batteries as needed. Hand tools and power hand tools are instrumental for arming additional work teams to speed the seat removal evolution.
hand tools are instrumental for arming additional work teams
Bigger is not always better, some cutting tools are too big for efficient interior operation
Above: Larger hydraulic cutting tools can be used but take more space to operate and may be too cumbersome inside a bus. It may be wise to monitor air quality inside the bus whenever gasoline powered hydraulic tools are used.
Reaching the interior door from the inside may be difficult
Above: Firefighter Lisa Coia-Bubel (City of Rochester Fire Department) demonstrates the difficulty of accessing the side interior door from inside a bus turned on its side. Note seats have been removed allowing for ladder placement into the bus. Roof or straight ladders can be placed into the bus via the side door for quick evacuation of minimally injured occupants.

Below: Further illustration of the side-to-side height created when a school bus it on its side. Note the seats are intact in this view demonstrating additional access limitation. Note also the proximity and size of the roof hatches (now side hatches). Intact seats will make placement of ladders difficult.
Height of side door and intact seats create difficult extrication
Above and below: Hand tools can be used to remove seats and some interior bus components when power/hydraulic tools are not appropriate.

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