Firefighters Train Using School Bus

Daily Herald

June 21, 2001

Palatine, IL–They’ve done training exercises in buildings, in lakes and with cars.

Last week, the Palatine Fire Department firefighters/paramedics had a rare opportunity to practice their rescue and extrication skills on a full-sized school bus. Midwest Transit of Kankakee donated the bus to the fire department for training purposes.

Over a three-day period, the firefighters/paramedics tore the bus apart. They smashed out its windows, tore off the doors, cut holes in the roof and rehearsed entry and exit routes they would use in an emergency.

“It’s something real different, and something you don’t get to do very often,” said Lt. Doug Hoyt, who led the drills one day last week. “Just a chance to work on (a vehicle) this heavy is a real eye-opener.”

The fire department routinely trains its staff on how to extricate people from cars, but rarely do they have a solidly built bus to work with. During the training, they practiced using different tools to cut through the bus’s thick metal.

“We’re not training on how to do extrication. We’re taking things we already know and figuring out how to apply it to a bus,” said firefighter/paramedic Kevin Piasecki.

“A lot of this is just experimentation on what’s going to work and what doesn’t,” added Hoyt.

The three-part training session started with a PowerPoint(r) presentation, a tour of one of Palatine Township Elementary School District 15’s buses, and then hands-on drills using the donated bus.

Piasecki, a member of the fire department’s EMS in Education Committee, organized the training session and arranged for the bus to be donated. The only limitations placed on the firefighters was that they had to leave the bus in towable condition.

Most of the Palatine Fire Department’s 94 firefighters/paramedics participated in the training over a three-day period. Extra water was needed because the men and women had to work in sweltering 90-degree heat while wearing full gear.

The sessions were videotaped and will be shown to other firefighters for training purposes.

Piasecki said this training makes the staff better prepared to handle a bus accident. “The opportunity to get a bus to practice on is rare,” Piasecki said. “It’s good practice.”

To see more of the Daily Herald, or to subscribe, go to http://www.dailyherald.com/

(c) 2001 Daily Herald. All Rights Reserved.

Daily Herald

June 21, 2001

Palatine, IL–They’ve done training exercises in buildings, in lakes and with cars.

Last week, the Palatine Fire Department firefighters/paramedics had a rare opportunity to practice their rescue and extrication skills on a full-sized school bus. Midwest Transit of Kankakee donated the bus to the fire department for training purposes.

Over a three-day period, the firefighters/paramedics tore the bus apart. They smashed out its windows, tore off the doors, cut holes in the roof and rehearsed entry and exit routes they would use in an emergency.

“It’s something real different, and something you don’t get to do very often,” said Lt. Doug Hoyt, who led the drills one day last week. “Just a chance to work on (a vehicle) this heavy is a real eye-opener.”

The fire department routinely trains its staff on how to extricate people from cars, but rarely do they have a solidly built bus to work with. During the training, they practiced using different tools to cut through the bus’s thick metal.

“We’re not training on how to do extrication. We’re taking things we already know and figuring out how to apply it to a bus,” said firefighter/paramedic Kevin Piasecki.

“A lot of this is just experimentation on what’s going to work and what doesn’t,” added Hoyt.

The three-part training session started with a PowerPoint(r) presentation, a tour of one of Palatine Township Elementary School District 15’s buses, and then hands-on drills using the donated bus.

Piasecki, a member of the fire department’s EMS in Education Committee, organized the training session and arranged for the bus to be donated. The only limitations placed on the firefighters was that they had to leave the bus in towable condition.

Most of the Palatine Fire Department’s 94 firefighters/paramedics participated in the training over a three-day period. Extra water was needed because the men and women had to work in sweltering 90-degree heat while wearing full gear.

The sessions were videotaped and will be shown to other firefighters for training purposes.

Piasecki said this training makes the staff better prepared to handle a bus accident. “The opportunity to get a bus to practice on is rare,” Piasecki said. “It’s good practice.”

To see more of the Daily Herald, or to subscribe, go to http://www.dailyherald.com.

(c) 2001 Daily Herald. All Rights Reserved.

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