Mock bus crash helps train first responders

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Last week, a pretend school bus crash occurred on Highway 47 in Columbiana.

The staged accident was designed to help prepare firefighters in case the real thing ever happened.

Firefighters from the Fourmile, Columbiana, Kingdom and Wilsonville fire departments all participated in the drill.

&8220;This class teaches firefighters the fundamentals of stabilizing a critically injured patient and providing quick, life-saving care,&8221; said firefighter Justin Glass, who co-taught the class.

The mock wreck was the final exam of a three-week first responder class.

High school students from Cornerstone Christian School volunteered to be &8220;victims,&8221; with injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening. The 22 students were painted with makeup to make their wound and the entire scene more realistic.

Firefighters were tested on their ability to assess the severity of wounds, free any students who were trapped, treat injuries and transport students to safety.

Glass said

mock drills are the most effective way to train and gauge a department&8217;s readiness.

Firefighters who completed the course earned special certification from the Alabama Fire College