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Schools, city, township to stage mock bus crash for training purposes

Fire and EMT personnel from Clayton, Harrison Township and Tipp City will also be taking part in the drill, as well as the CareFlight team from Miami Valley Hospital. Bus drivers from Vandalia-Butler, Fairborn, Northridge and Trotwood will also participate.

The exercise will be conducted between Morton Middle School and Vandalia Fire Station #1, 8705 Peters Pike, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Portions of the school grounds will be closed on Tuesday (August 6) to begin staging the scene.

The school district is donating two buses that haven’t been in service for three years because they were deteriorated, according to Transportation Supervisor Todd Silverthorn. The cost to fix the buses was more than they were worth, so the district opted to use them for training purposes.

“We’re using this as a multi-agency event so our drivers can see what happens during a mass casualty drill,” Silverthorn said. “The hands-on experience will provide our drivers and our first responders with knowledge of what to do should an accident like this ever occur.”

One of the buses will be flipped on its side, and drivers will have an opportunity to walk through and practice using alternate exits like the roof hatches and kick-out windows.

“The district saw this as an excellent training opportunity for its drivers, and we’re delighted to be able to participate as well,” said Chad Follick, Vandalia fire chief.

Students from Vandalia Butler High School’s Drama Club will also be participating as mock victims.

“The kids are very excited about participating in this exercise,” Follick said. “We’ll try to make the scene look as realistic as possible, which means we’ll be using theatrical blood.”

Follick said exercises like the mock crash provide invaluable training. 

“There are so many variables involved in this type of a crash,’ Follick said. “By exposing our first responders to those variables in a stress-free training environment, our crews will be better prepared in the event of an actual crash.”

The district will sell the buses for scrap after the training is complete.

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