Students, Emergency Responders Practice Large Accident

A frightening scene in Grand Traverse County Tuesday morning, emergency crews responding to a big accident. But it was all for practice.

While they don’t happen often, accidents involving a large number of people can happen any time.

That’s why the Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department teamed up with students from Baker College to practice responding to a mass casualty incident.

“We’re hoping that this never happens but, in case it does, we want to be prepared for it,” said GT Metro Fire Chief Pat Parker. 

A bus full of students gets hit by car and knocked over. While this didn’t really happen, it’s the possibility that prompts training exercises like this to take place.

“When you have a school bus full of supposedly most of them would be children. There’s going to be a lot of emotion from parents and from us, as well, so you want to make sure that we don’t create a situation where anybody gets hurt more than they are.”

With students from Baker leading the way, the training helps more than just emergency crews — it’s important experience for students.

“The big thing the students are going to get out of it is that you triage patients based on the priority of their injuries. It’s pretty much the students who are running it. We’re here to do support.”

With some students acting as injured kids, others were able to practice using important lifesaving tools like the jaws of life.

It’s this kind of experience that gets students ready for real-world situations.

Baker student Tiffany Strickland said, “a lot of times, these big incidents happen and we’ve never experienced them before, so, when it happens we can communicate well and take care of the people that need help.”

You never know what might happen in the future, but these students and first responders will be ready if the call comes.

“This is training in case this happens so that we can be ready.”