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Bus Rescue points you can use now

 7 take-home recommendations when dealing with any large passenger vehicle collision. 

  • Knowing the construction and type of bus or large vehicle involved can be your first clue to the potential severity of the incident. Type A and B buses are the converted van style while Type C and D are the classic school bus types. Size-up must include the type of bus, number of occupants, and the position of the bus. Experience has shown that most collisions involving school buses result in little damage to the bus and the bus remaining upright. 
  • Remaining on all four tires is not a guarantee of no injuries inside, while finding a school bus in any other position almost certainly predicts a variety of injury patterns. This is a good time to remind everyone that there may (most likely will) be injuries in any passenger vehicle that has collided with the bus. 
  • Your size-up must include factors such as traffic conditions and environmental conditions. These contingencies will impact rescue efforts as well as treatment, triage and transport as well as longevity of responders.
  • You should plan for distractions. Anticipate the media will have been contacted and will show up as well as parents. Plan for their arrival. Consider that patients may have walked off the scene prior to your arrival as well. 
  • Control the hazards simultaneously with stabilizing the vehicle is a priority. Shutting off the electrical master switch and ignition as soon as possible may be your best bet. If you need to disconnect the battery, remember two things; there may be more than one battery and disconnect the negative cable. It is not uncommon for buses to have multiple batteries in different locations. Removing the negative cable and securing it to prevent contact with other parts of the bus is a good safety tip. 
  • Solid stabilization has to be done at either end of the bus or under the center frame rails. Never attempt to crib a school bus under the skirting on the sides. Keep in mind that you'll need more cribbing than usual. Simply choking the wheels may be sufficient if the vehicle is upright; otherwise, the situation will dictate where best to crib and stabilize the bus. 
  • For gaining access and creating evacuation , follow three simple steps points: Use existing opening, enlarge existing openings, or make your own opening. First, using existing openings will work well if patients can walk or have limited injuries and is the fastest and easiest to accomplish. Enlarging existing openings such as windows takes some time, personnel and equipment, but allows for rapid movement of rescuers and gear in and patients out. Once you start to cut on a bus be sure to reevaluate the need for structural stabilization and any effect on vehicle stabilization. You can make your own openings, too. I would leave this tactic as a last resort. Cutting into the side or top of a school bus is personnel intensive, time consuming and can add to the hazards. Cutting into the bottom of a bus is doable, but next to impossible.

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