I took School Bus Rescue class and I will say, there is some major differences in the buses that are out there. I really did not know that there was such a difference in a school bus and a city bus or tour bus. The city and tour buses are not built the same at all. If they are involved in a crash they will crumple and rip apart like a tin can. School buses on the other hand are built for safety for the kids that are being carried to and from school.

There are many things that I learned and one was cribbing the bus. You can't crib a bus the same way you crib a car. You crib a school bus at the front bumper and the rear bumper. The buses sit much higher and to crib from the side doesn't work very well at all. From the front and rear is more feasable because of the frame work that you are using for stablization.

School buses have changed in the fact that the door opens now with either air or electric. This is a problem because we can't just go to the door and just push and the door opens. We learned to take the window out in the door and it isn't going and breaking the window out. We were taught to take the gasket off and then just push the window. This keeps the glass intact and not having glass break all over. The glass is also made not to shatter.

The windows that the kids open are great cause they are not hard to take out either. Even though the emergency windows open up pretty big, they may not come all the way out. Most of them that I see just swing out. The way to fix this problem is to take a screw gun and take the screws out and the whole window and frame will come out. Then there is no problem with the frame being in the way. this also keeps from having glass go flying with all the kids there. Much, much safer. This also helps if you need to open up the side of the bus to make a nice big opening to move the kids and equiptment.

The other thing that they taught us is that we are bigger than kids and the center isle is rather small. If there is a need to put a victim on a backboard there is no way to lay the backboard down to put the patient on it. We learned to take the seats out. If the seats are in the way, remove them. We have plenty of tools to use to take them out. You can use the cutters on the jaws unite, which may or may not cut the legs. You can also cut the legs with a hack saw.

We also took the rear emergency exit door off and actually opened up the back even bigger.

Here are some pictures of what we did.

This class is a great class and I would recommend the class. I learned a great deal that you don't in auto extrication classes.

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Thanks Kim for the info, its something we all need to be prepared for even though we dont want to hear the call.
Thanks T.J. you are so right, I don't like to hear the call of a school bus accident. Be Safe...
Great post, Kim. I took this class some years ago and I remember being surprised at how sturdy they are. We attempted to open up the top using standard sheet metal tools, and it was tough going. Even with an air chisel it takes a while to make a hole.

Also, with the bus tipped at a 45 degree angle or on its side it is extremely difficult to move around inside because of the high back seats.

I also recommend school bus rescue training for any departments that perform vehicle extrication as part of their service.
Thanks for the post. I teach this type of class and the main thing that I go over to the rescuers in the class is know where your other resources are located. Especially E.M.S. When I was going over this with my department some other things that came up were to notify the school district and get another bus (or 2) on the way so when you do triage the other bus could be used as a transport unit but most likely a place for the kids with minor injuries. Also, when you notify the school they will have all of the emerency forms for the kids. I set up a mock drill with my school district and dept. The first thing the officer on the first in truck did while en-route was dispatch the next 3 squads on our rotation. From what I have read and heard on the news about the 2 MVA's involving a bus extrication wasn't even needed it was man power and E.M.S. Again this was a great post continue on with this train even if you talk about the things that might happen on the scene. Keep it SAFE
Thanks Drew. this was a great class and they talked about all of that and I have to say there is a lot of information to have to absorb and I learned a lot...
For those in Oz, an interesting thing to keep in mind is that there is no national standard on where the manufacturers run the cables, air lines, fuel lines, etc- every bus will be done differently!

That means you ru nthe risk every single time you cut into them, of cutting electrics, fuel lines and air lines....

EEEEWWWWW!!!!!
We had the pleasure of having a school bus donated to us by the local bus company. We worked that bus on multiple trainings and your right, they are hard to cut up. We used a Sawzall at the rear of the bus with the emergency door open to completely open the back of the bus. We were trained to create 3 ways on and off the bus. (front side and rear) Having 3 ways in and off the bus makes it easier for us as responders to provide EMS support to those injured inside. Ensuring room for your victims on backboards with no worry for sharp edges is what is important.
Great post Kim
Thanks and I loved the class and would am trying to get my department to do a drill on school buses. We will see.

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