Old school bus put to use in rescue exercise

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

A Pleasanton firefighter uses a reciprocating saw to cut into the roof of an old school bus. Emergency personnel used the bus to practice extricating students in the event of a bus accident. (Submitted photos)

PLEASANTON – Earlier this year, Pleasanton USD 344 received a $25,000 grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). The purpose of the “Clean Diesel” grant was to help the district take an inefficient bus out of service and replace it with one that was more fuel efficient and polluted less.

Superintendent Travis Laver said the district decided the best use of the old bus was to help train first responders how to approach a bus accident scene.

So the bus was taken to Wes’ Recycling yard near Prescott and turned on its side. With firefighters, an ambulance crew, law enforcement personnel and several student volunteer “victims,” the group staged a mass casualty rescue drill.

Using reciprocating saws and other tools, firefighters began working to free the trapped victims. Students, in the meantime, found ways to make themselves comfortable in a topsy-turvy bus.

Once the rescue drill was complete, the recycling company’s machine operator went to work, chewing up what was left.

“We received $25,000 in grant money and $1,500 for the scrap,” Laver said, adding that it was a good exchange for a new bus.

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