CLARK COUNTY, Ill. (WTHI) - Police agencies use training days to make sure they're ready in case a disaster happens.
Saturday was no different, and a special training program in Clark County, Ill. created a scary mock scenario.
From a real school bus to a real fuel truck, this training in Marshall, Ill. gave officers the chance to see a real disaster.
Officers say it's more important now than ever before.
"People aren't paying attention like they used to, like they should anymore. There's too many distractions,” said Rob Knott, training officer at Marshall Fire and Rescue. "They're in a hurry, they think they can get through an intersection, so they pull out in front of the bus, bus takes a long distance to stop, it doesn't stop as quick as a car does…So you worry about intersection accidents, and that's what we're portraying here today.”
From dispatch to first responder, Clark County Emergency Management went through the steps as if the situation were the real deal.
"We will be doing full extrication with kids as far as the back boarding and seat collaring and everything goes."
Officials say in a precarious situation like this one, they have to make sure everything's done in the proper way.
With this accident in particular, the gas leak added another concern.
In a live scenario, something very similar is likely. It's all the more reason to prepare.
"To have a better understanding of how the bus is laid out, how to properly get the students off the bus, how to do everything in a timely fashion,” said Knott.
Extra training involving buses was an important addition. Knott said in rural communities, buses fill with lots of riders quickly.
In an accident like this, they could be dealing with as many as 25 patients.
"On a local level, we have three paramedic units, each ambulance can only haul two patients. So, right off the bat, you're overwhelmed, as any department would be,” said Knott.
That makes it important to work together.
Saturday served as another reminder of what other communities can offer to help speed the process up and keep everyone safe.
Officials say they do training at least once every month. Saturday's larger training session happens about once a year.
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