'God forbid that it ever did happen': Mock school bus crash prepares drivers for the worst
MICHIGAN CITY —
It's something first responders never want to have happen, but want to be prepared for in case it does.
We're talking about a school bus crash.
The Michigan City Fire Department and school district came together for practice, Wednesday.
Michigan City Firefighters wanted to show drivers throughout the district what to do in the worst case scenario. They say it not only helps the drivers but prepares rescuers, as well.
"God forbid, that it ever did happen... It makes us a little more secure and aware of what we are doing,” said Valorie Skwiat, with Michigan City Area Schools Transportation.
Michigan City Firefighters created different mock crashes—like one with a bus flipped on its side.
"We cut a doorway through the top of the roof, and then finally we finished up with going on its side, gaining access via a ladder and removing a victim through the top of the bus,” said firefighter, Scott Kaletha.
Even experienced bus drivers welcomed the training.
"For instance, we were asking the fire departments should we move the students? Only if there's a fire. You just find out the injuries are, let them know how many students that you have and then they will inform you as to what you need to do and wait for them,” said Mary Cotton.
It wasn't only training for them. Fire officials say they rarely get the chance to practice with real buses. They say the kids who sit on these buses--are really what it's all about.
"Almost every single firefighter that you know, they have a heartfelt string that gets pulled when it comes to kids to when that call comes in about a school bus there's a heightened sense and we need to elevate our game,” said Kaletha.
"We treat them as they're our own, we protect them, look out for them and make sure that nobody or nothing hurts them or that they come to any harm,” Cotton said.
Since this week is National School Bus Safety Week, every bus driver and monitor throughout the district played a part.