Firefighters from Coventry Township, New Frankln and Green participated in a special extrication training at Tadmor Temple.
Teetering on its side, the school bus threatened to shift its weight and roll.
Every second it wavered, it endangered passengers on board and in the car on which it had come to rest.
More than a dozen Coventry Township firefighter worked to stabilize the bus and attend to the victims of both vehicles, which sat in the parking lot at the Tadmor House.
The situation may have seemed very real, but it was perfectly staged as part of grant-funded training that was organized, in part, by Coventry Fire Capt. Adam Rockich.
“The bus was on its side and teetering,” Rockich said of the scenario seet up for the firefighters. “We were able to stabilize everything and then go in and tear the top of the bus. … It was invaluable the stuff we did there.”
Staging the collision was an art in itself.
“It takes a whole day just to prepare the vehicles,” Rockich said.
Employees from Miller’s Towing and the Coventry Roads Department brought in equipment to assist Rockich with staging the exercise. Both helped with turning vehicles on their sides and piling vehicles on top of one another.
“At one point, we had four cars turned on their sides,” Rockich said with a laugh. “It kind of looks like Stonehenge.”
In addition to sharpening their extrication skills, the firefighters participating in the exercise also had the opportunity to become familiar with new extrication equipment.
According to Rockich, Coventry recently received a $13,900 Assistance to Firefighters grant which allowed for the purchase of new extrication equipment including a vehicle stabilizer and extricator. The new items were put to good use in the training earlier this month, which was also paid for by the grant.
What made the training truly unique was the scope of work that the firefighters were able to do.
For this training, the fire departments were able to use 12 total vehicles, all of which were provided by Miller’s Towing.
“Usually, you get one or two cars and that’s all you have,” Rockich said of traditional extrication training. “We had 10 vehicles, a school bus and a semi-truck.”
Miller’s not only brought the vehicles to Tadmor for the training, it helped with staging the exercises and towed the vehicles away when upon conclusion of the training.
To ensure that the training had the biggest possible impact, Coventry invited firefighters from Green and New Franklin to participate in the exercises.