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School Bus Stabilization & Extrication

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Presentation on theme: "School Bus Stabilization & Extrication"— Presentation transcript:

1 School Bus Stabilization & Extrication
Developed by FF Jon M. Graziani Maple Valley Fire & Life Safety

2 School Bus Statistics Each year, school buses provide an estimated 10 billion student trips in the United States. Every school day, 475,000 school buses transport 25 million children to and from schools and school-related activities.

3 A little “History” The first school bus was horse-drawn, introduced in 1827 by George Shillibeer, it was designed to carry 25 children.

4 Statistics Over the past 11 years school buses have annually averaged 26,000 crashes, resulting in 10 fatalities: 25% were drivers, 75% were passengers – National Highway Transportation Safety Administration

5 School Bus Occupant Hazards
Most school bus fatalities occur outside the bus during loading and unloading of children. Most school bus injuries occur inside the school bus, 2/3 of the injuries are minor – patients were not properly positioned inside the seating area.

6 School Bus Hazards Most fatalities and accidents occur in the afternoon and mid-year; students and drivers aren’t thinking about a “school bus”, they’re usually thinking about what they will do when they get home. Most fatalities occur between December and May of each year. – State education department.

7 Scene Control School bus crashes are extremely difficult, even for the seasoned veteran. Will draw enormous attention Students with cell phones will call parents, relatives or friends All of which will race to the scene frantic and worried News media will attempt to get pictures and stories As the clock ticks more and more people will be notified of the incident To deal with these people request law enforcement for traffic control and restrict access to unnecessary individuals

8 Scene Control Set up a Staging area for Parents, Media, School Representatives Assign a PIO Manage the Victims Follow Zone 3 MCI protocols Establish Pre-determined response so decisions aren’t made by the seat of your pants Fire Department & EMS Local School Representatives Law Enforcement

9 Component Hazards School buses pose the same hazards as most vehicles on the roadway today Size & Mass alone is a hazard to all working on/in/around a not properly stabilized vehicle Fires Dense toxic fumes due to the use of flammable materials in seats. Access Narrow aisle ways.

10 School Bus Systems Similar to other vehicles, School buses have batteries, fuel systems, air bags and seat belts.

11 Storage Compartments Built around the chassis
Provides “false” support system for struts & cribbing Light gauge steel / NO structural support Accessed from both sides “What’s inside the storage compartment?”

12 Battery Access Rear Drivers-Side Compartment 3-6 batteries Slide tray
Terminate “Negative” Disconnect (or) Double Cut Follow Dept Procedures

13 Engine Access All “cab-over” buses have engines mounted in the rear of the bus

14 Fuel Systems Fuel systems vary Diesel Gas Butane Propane Natural Gas
Hybrid Be aware of the various fuel systems, be prepared to contain fuel spillage

15 Safety Features On-board Fire Extinguishers
Emergency Escape Windows & Roof Hatches

16 School Bus Access The weakest to strongest parts of a school bus are as follows and should be considered as you gain access: 1. Windows 2. Windshield 3. Doors 4. The structure itself

17 Access Gaining access to the Cab can be simple to complex
“Try before you Pry” Conscious driver, “ask them to open the door” Emergency Exits Windows, Doors, and/or Roof hatches Unconscious, utilize a pike pole through door window The goal is to find a way “IN” and a way “OUT”

18 Access Issues Resting on its wheels Resting on its side
Emergency Exits Resting on its side Remove front window as the Entry Point Remove rear window as the Egress Point Best operation is to operate the locking mechanism from the inside Totally remove the door Resting on its top Remove windows and exit doors

19 Window Removal Remove two windows and the post to create a large access/egress point for rescuers and victims The window frame can be removed with a screw driver, window punch or hydraulic cutters Laminated Glass on Windshield Remove the rubber seal from window frame to pull windshield out intact Tempered Glass on sides

20 Making a door from a window
Once the glass is removed, utilize the cutters or reciprocating saw Determine the size of the opening Cut away the pillars Cut down to the floor board

21 Stabilization School buses are large vehicles weighing up to and in excess of 12 tons. Overall Size: Height and Weight Requires a large amount of cribbing Box cribbing will eventually distribute the weight Struts prevent horizontal movement Their size creates stabilization obstacles not normally dealt with in passenger vehicles Any shifting can harm rescuers and victims Be aware of surroundings, identify a way out if conditions change

22 Stabilization Concerns
Traditional Stabilization techniques Chock the wheels Terminate electrical system Set Airbrake Turn OFF ignition Do NOT deflate tires 6 or more inches of downward movement on one side may cause a drastic tilt Bus may not be totaled and will need to be moved or towed

23 Stabilization Basics Utilizing Stabilization Struts
Remove compartment door (s) for proper anchoring point You must find a “safe” & “solid” anchoring point The “black” band is a safe anchoring point

24 Stabilization Basics If you choose to utilize box cribbing you must gain access to the frame rails Standard to Large dimensional lumber will be required

25 Extrication Tools The tools needed for bus extrication operations are carried on most fire engines The reciprocating saw is an excellent tool, it is light weight, smaller, allowing firefighters to cut overhead and in tight spaces Allows for quick work, electric powered are more reliable then battery powered Require 25+ replacement blades

26 Extrication Tools Tools and equipment that may be needed:
Axes, Sledgehammers, Pry bars, Pike Poles, Utility Knives Hydraulic Spreaders/Cutters/Ram Cribbing (standard and large dimensional lumber) Struts Lifting Airbags Air Chisels PERSONNEL

27 Bus Vs. Vehicle “Under-Ride”
“Tunneling” Operations are labor intensive and time consuming The bus must be properly stabilized/to include suspension The vehicle must be stabilized / strap suspension to gain additional work space

28 Bus Vs. Vehicle “T-Bone”
Perform all standard stabilization procedures before extrication operations begin Due to the height of a bus most accidents will be “under-ride” accidents that require some form of “tunneling” procedure Depending on patient location extrication procedures can be simple to technical

29 Rear Access Similar to a third door conversion on an “extended” cab vehicle: Cut the top pillar Make a relief cut and or cut the remainder of the paneling away with the cutters or Reciprocating saw Reciprocating saw is the preferred tool Photo’s courtesy of Brian Craig photography

30 Roof Removal Roof construction consists of two layers of metal separated by insulation Time consuming if correct tools are not utilized Circular saw Plunge blade deep enough to cut through both layers of metal and bracings Reciprocating saw Have extra blades on hand Air chisel Have extra SCBA bottles available

31 Seat Removal Once access is gained to the seat and floor board the hydraulic cutters or spreaders can be utilized to remove the seat mounts from the floor board: Place the tips of the spreaders between the floorboard and mounting brackets and “pop” the seats from the floor Place the cutting blades at the lowest point on the mounting brackets, then cut through the light gauge steel Photo’s courtesy of Brian Craig photography

32 School Bus Fires Traditional “vehicle” fire tactics should be used
Fuel Tanks are major hazard Up to 100 gallons of diesel Greater than 55 gallons is considered a Hazardous Material Plastic fuel tanks mounted under the chassis Major fuel spill hazards

33 Suppression Operations
Follow all vehicle fire suppression tactics Conventional Cab / Front mounted engine Cab-Over / Rear mounted engine

34 The END There is a great deal to learn about school buses and the challenges posed at a crash scene. Training & Preplanned coordination between fire & emergency services and local school transportation representatives can lead to a more effective and efficient operation

35 References: Paul Hasenmeier, City of Huron Fire Department
Tom Kiurski, Livonia MI Fire & Rescue Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One Brian Livingston, LN Curtis

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