Mock accident a great training exercise

The overturned bus on the roadside pullout was part of a mock accident to help train firefighters from two different counties.

Christina Lake

It was a scenario no one wants to see: an overturned school bus with several injured children on board. Thankfully, the overturned bus on the roadside pullout was part of a mock accident to help train firefighters from two different counties. Firefighters from Grand Forks Fire/Rescue, Christina Lake Fire Department and the Joint Fire Protection District Ferry County #3 and Stevens Country from Orient, Washington participated in the simulated accident on April 27 on the pullout just before the Christina Lake Golf Course turnoff.

Firefighters had to rescue several injured GFSS students and a bus driver who were trapped inside a bus on its side. Firefighters also had to find and attend to two students who had crawled down the embankment after the accident.

Ken Gresley-Jones, Christina Lake fire chief, said the exercise went very well. “We enjoy an awesome relationship with Grand Forks Fire/Rescue and are working on getting to know our American associates,” he said. “I am very happy with the result. There were no egos and no problems. It was great.”

He said the Grand Forks and Christina Lake fire departments do joint practices once or twice a year, but that it had been about eight years since they’ve attempted something on the scale of the mock bus accident.

Kevin McKinnon, deputy fire chief for the Grand Forks Fire/Rescue, said about 25 responders were involved in the training session.

“We planned the session to be as realistic as possible and were lucky to have ‘real’ patients in the form of GFSS drama students,” said McKinnon. “The students did a great job performing as injured bus riders, and had amazing make-up (bruises, fake blood) to add to the realism of the scenario.”

McKinnon said the mock accident was about as close to the real thing as they can get without having patients with real injuries. “The primary goal of the practice is dealing with a mass casualty incident, which includes triaging the patients (worst injuries get dealt with first) and giving them initial care to get them ready for transport to the hospital by ambulance,” he said.

Beside the medical component, firefighters performed extrication work on the bus using tools such as the jaws of life and cutting tools. They also practiced rope work on bringing up the two students who went over the embankment.

“Keeping things organized on such a large-scale incident with as many responders as we had (and from multiple agencies) also tested our personnel accountability system,” said McKinnon. “Grand Forks Fire/Rescue and Christina Lake Fire Department have recently changed to similar accountability systems, so we expected them to blend together fairly well, and we found that the U.S. team’s system merged in nicely too. Overall, quite a bit was accomplished in the two-hour time allotted for the event.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

VIDEO: Canadian Forces members begin helping out flooded B.C. communities

Three-hundred personnel in B.C. in some off hardest hit cities

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup in Grand Forks

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

UPDATED: BC Ferries freezes plans to nix fuel rebates pending government funds

Claire Trevena says she is ‘extremely disappointed’ by a plan by BC Ferries to remove fuel rebates

B.C. sues Alberta over bill that could ‘turn oil taps off’

Lawsuit is the latest move in the two provinces’ ongoing feud over the Kinder Morgan pipeline

Liberal government introduces measures to update Canada’s family laws

Justice officials say there have not been substantial updates to federal family laws in 20 years

B.C. mom threatens legal action against sunscreen company

Caleb Jordan, 6, was covered in blisters 20 minutes after using Banana Boat sunscreen

BC Games Society president to step down

Kelly Mann says it’s time for a change after 26 years with the society

B.C. politicians framed by anonymous sticky-note doodler

Insider has been posting caricatures from the B.C. legislature to social media

27 years since initial police probe, polygamist leader to be sentenced in June

Prosecutor recommend up to 6 months jail, defence asks for conditional or absolute discharge

Governments kick in cash for B.C. farmers, food processors

Ottawa, Victoria contribute $14 million over five years to help develop new products, processes

Most Read