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Fleming County officials stage school bus crash simulation Friday

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The Fleming County Hospital is partnering with Fleming County Schools and first responders to simulate a school bus crash on Friday, October 20. According to officials, the staged event is part of an annual emergency preparedness drill to find areas of the hospital that should be improved before an actual emergency occurs.

Jeff Vice is the Director of Facilities and Emergency Management Coordinator for Fleming County hospital.

“My goal was to get my drill in, like we have to have here, using some simulated patients that will probably be a little more dramatic than older patients would be and to get the other entities in the county to see the struggles that they would be up against if they actually did have to evacuate students from a school bus,” said Vice.

The drill will include participation from 20 high school students who will play the part of injured patients. Officials said they will set up the crash site at 9 a.m. Friday and begin the simulation around 10 a.m. Police and ambulances will be on site to transport students to the hospital with lights and sirens.

This is the first time the hospital has practiced a school bus crash. Vice said in previous years they have staged pandemic, tornado, and concert riot simulations. The emergency management coordinator said they learn something new in every scenario.

“And that’s what they’re for. I tell all the other staff here on a regular basis, I do fire drills every month, I’m not doing those fire drills so I can come to you and say, ‘What was you thinking, why didn’t you do better?’ I’m doing them so I can come to you and say, ‘This is where we need to improve, this is what we need to do better next time,’” said Vice.

Vice said the response to the staged crash will be closely monitored and evaluated. He said the simulation should be over by noon, so as to minimize disruption in the emergency department of the hospital.