Large-scale bus crash simulation: Rescue crews prepare for the worst-case scenario


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW)-First responders have to react in seconds. That is what makes Tuesday’s training so vital. 

A training simulation was conducted for all sectors, government, private and non-profit, to test emergency plans.

There are many moving parts behind this simulation, but the experience gained from exercises like this could one day save lives. That’s why instructors make these situations as real as possible. 

Emergency crews, public safety and hospital staff were at a simulated scene answering the call. The first simulation for emergency crews was get to a bus crash involving dozens of injuries. 

Derby High School drama students participated in playing victims, along with other adults from the community. 

Student Alivia Bolain said it was important to play the role she was given. 

“They asked us if we had any injuries and if we were conscious,” said Bolain. “Then they transported us on a cot to triage area. Then they transported us to the hospital.”

Student R.D. Pipkin said he had to wait until everyone got off the bus before crews made it to him. 

“I had like a head injury and then I had a lower back injury,” said Pipkin. 

While crews were on the scene, a chlorine leak simulation broke out after a train car crash. The concern was that the gas would move downwind and affect those at the crash. 

The Emergency Planning Committee chair, Ann Houk, said these simulations determine if enough responders are on scene, how to react quickly, and if hospitals are ready for a mass casualty event. 

“We put together exercises that help us stress and test our emergency plans,” said Houk. “After this training what we’re hoping to do is identify those deficits and fix those deficits before you actually get into a real real scene incident.”

From past training, communication was an issue. 

This time a back up tower for emergency scanners is on standby.

Pipkin said it was a great chance to get to have a hands-on learning experience. 

“It was really cool to get some real-world experience of acting and like staying in character and stuff,” said Pipkin. 

He said he and his classmates made realistic looking suits. 

While it’s the worst case scenario, Houk said being prepared is key. 

“This was probably the best exercise I’ve seen happen for us as a community because we got all players involved,” said Houk. 

From here, observation forms will be completed, and any concerns that may have occurred will be identified and addressed.

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