Mass casualty procedures put to the test after 41 JCPS students hurt in bus crash
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Mass casualty procedures were enacted after three Jefferson County Public School buses were involved in a crash Thursday morning on Dixie Highway.
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Forty-one students were sent to area hospitals with injuries ranging from bruises to broken bones. Thankfully, all the students are expected to be okay. But before emergency crews and doctors knew that, they were preparing for anything.
"A crash with this many victims is rare," Louisville Metro EMS Sergeant Angela Rarden said. "We don't usually get three fully loaded school buses in one single wreck."
At 7:22 a.m., she was on the first truck dispatched to the crash.
Dozens of students were on their way to Pleasure Ridge Park High School, Frost Middle School and Stuart Middle School. Rarden says her team checked how many students were injured and how many resources they would need.
"A situation of this size overwhelms our system," Jody Meiman said. "We are very busy in Jefferson County and sometimes we may not have as many trucks as we would like get to scenes."
Meiman is the Executive Director of Louisville Metro EMS so he was notified of the emergency immediately. The Mass Casualty Bus transported all the students that could walk, he told us.
"The most stressful time is before they get here because we don't know how injured the kids are," Norton Children's Hospital Medical Directory Doctor Mark McDonald said.
The hospital was immediately placed on code yellow - mass casualty. Of the children injured, 31 of them were rushed to Norton's. The remaining 10 went to other hospitals.
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McDonald told us injuries varied from soreness, bruises, to broken bones. He said there was enough room to comfortably treat the 31 students.
"The more repetition of mass casualty procedure, the better you can perform," McDonald said.
McDonald told us his staff recently trained for scenarios of receiving 100 patients in a matter of three hours.
Bus crashes are the most common reason for a code yellow at Norton Children's Hospital.
Many of the students treated on Thursday were released from the hospital by 1 p.m.
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