Firefighters from Washtenaw County, Michigan, located west of Detroit, used old school buses for emergency evacuation training, reported Sun Times News.
The school buses were donated by the transportation department at Dexter Community Schools, which hosted the training at its bus lot. Firefighters from across the county, including the cities of Chelsea, Dexter and Saline, were in attendance.
Chris Smyth, a captain with the Chelsea Area Fire Authority, spoke to the Sun Times News about the challenge of finding buses to tear apart with emergency extrication tools.
“We don’t get to do this a lot,” commented Smyth. “Thanks to Dexter Schools, we are getting the chance.”
He added that the training had been in the works for the past three years.
While school buses have designated evacuation plans in the case of an emergency, there can be instances where exits are damaged or obstructed, forcing first responders to cut through the bus sidewalls. This is no easy endeavor, Smyth told Sun Times News, as school buses are designed with occupant safety in mind and are built to endure severe impact.
The training reportedly lasted for a few days and firefighters were able to practice using saws, chisels, stabilizing struts and other tools to make entry.
Smyth added that while school bus extrication doesn’t occur often, “When it does this helps us to be better prepared to help the students and others inside,” he said.
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