Reality training: School bus collision incident management

Video shows the high-speed, head-on collision between a school bus and SUV after the SUV driver became unresponsive


The 911 center is deluged with reports of a SUV slamming into the front end of a school bus full of children. All available EMS units are dispatched with police and fire-rescue for what many callers describe as a horrific scene.

View and discuss school bus MCI scene management

As you watch the video below of the head-on collision discuss with your partner, company, or squad:

  • What are the scene and traffic incident management priorities for the first arriving ambulances, especially when arriving before police and fire?
  • What are the specific actions to rapidly triage patients into injury categories?
  • How will you prepare for the inevitable rush of parents to the scene as they receive text messages and phone calls from their children?
  • How will you document the assessment and release of children that are uninjured and want to leave the scene in another bus or with friends?

In addition, the SUV driver is a patient and potentially the most seriously injured. Extrication is reported to have taken 20 minutes.

  • What medical emergencies come to mind for a driver suddenly losing control of their vehicle?
  • How can you begin to assess and treat those illnesses while the driver is still trapped in his vehicle?

Scenes like this are a significant distraction to other drivers. The risk of a secondary collision causing additional injuries, especially to fire and EMS personnel, is substantial. The first arriving units need to prioritize traffic incident management and scene safety over the provision of patient care.

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