9/8/2013 6:22 PM
by Joe Hellriegel
ALDERSON - The Alderson Volunteer Fire Department is putting their crew to the test in worst case scenarios for school bus accidents.
"The main thing is scene safety because we don't want our rescuers getting hurt," said instructor Mike Vandall. "If there is power lines down we don't want them getting electrocuted, for fire hazards, make sure the bus the secure and stable and then they gain access to the patients get them secure and stable and then if we have to cut on the vehicle then we do that."
The fire department and EMS workers train together as scenario after scenario is staged for them to complete in a timed event.
"For critical patients we have what's called a golden hour from when the accident occurs until that patient is in a trauma center which is Charleston. So you have an hour to package your patient, get them out of the vehicle and get them to Charleston so time is very important," said Vandall.
Equipment used to train is hard to come by especially for volunteer fire departments and they struggle to find resources to use on training days.
These resources include a bus car and a tractor trailer which was donated by Anthony's Wrecker.
"Buses are hard to come by and unless your department has money which I know of no department in the state of West Virginia that is, we have to wait for someone to trash one to get it," said Vandall.
Money is often a large issue with volunteer fire departments as fire suits can cost over a couple thousand dollars a person, and they can have firefighters battling the heat, even without a fire.
"The heat is a bit hot today gotta keep hydrated that's one thing and make sure were all safe and don't have to take a man to the hospital we don't want to have to do that," said 1st Captain Lee Skaggs.