Fire Engineering Simulation: Bus Accident Mass Casualty Incident (MCI)

Simulation by Lt. James Murphy (Ret), Orange County Fire Rescue (Orlando, FL), and CommandSim

This scenario depicts an overturned school bus on the Northbound lane of Interstate-95 in the late afternoon. Responders arrive at the rear of the bus (on the Northbound side), but can navigate through and around the bus, as well as onto the Southbound side.

As the instructor, you can decide how intense you want to make this scenario. You may elect to simply use this simulation to practice triage, or you may decide to practice a full-scale MCI exercise with or without smoke and flame impingement.

The scenario provides the ability to present 13 victims (12 teenagers/children and 1 driver), as well as various states of smoke and fire, including none at all. You the instructor provide the background information about current traffic patterns, companies dispatched and their roles, and proper department procedures for handling this situation. The scenario includes default descriptions for the victims, and our assessment of their tag status (Green, Yellow, Red, or Black). This scenario permits you to change the victim descriptions, locations, and proper tags to customize it for your teaching points and to add variety. Your changes are saved on your computer for easy retrieval.


Where do I go from here? Read the Simulation Notes (PDF) and the Critical Considerations (PDF) documents to prepare for using the simulation. Use or adapt the sample Evaluation Checklist (PDF) as a way to evaluate the responders on MCI’s. Check out our Victim Assessment (PDF) document to see how we would triage the default victims.

What does this thing do? Read the Simulation Notes (PDF) of possible outcomes and curveballs you can throw into the scenario, as well as navigation instructions.

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  • Simulation Notes: Scenario notes, reference articles, scenario navigation, and how to triage victims
  • Critical Considerations: Key concepts, techniques, and teaching points to consider
  • Evaluation Checklist: A sample benchmark checklist you can use and adapt to practice your MCI exercises
  • Victim Assessment: An triage assessment of the default set of victims (which you can modify)


CLICK HERE to talk about this simulation in the Fire Engineering Training Community!  


The scenario and accompanying materials have been designed by Lieutenant Jim Murphy, (Ret.) Orange County Fire Rescue (Orlando, FL). The technical development and production was created by CommandSim.
Special thanks to Tim Hyden, Training Officer East Manatee Fire Rescue for permitting the developers to photograph their mock disaster/school bus accident.

Materials may not be copied or distributed without the expressed, written permission of Fire Engineering and the PennWell Corporation, copyright © 2008-2010, all rights reserved.

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