Cabarrus County firefighters train on schools bus rescue skills
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CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. — Cabarrus County firefighters trained this weekend on how to rescue students from a school bus wreck.
The first responders hope they never need the skills, but they want to be prepared.
"It's not something that our everyday response to a motor vehicle accident would take care of," said assistant chief of the Cold Water Volunteer Fire Department Brian McDonald.
Crews from five departments learned how to stabilize the bus and how to create entry holes for teams to get inside.
"It would pose a unique challenge to really any department in this county," said McDonald.
The Cold Water fire department thought the challenge was big enough that it sponsored the two-day training session that involved mock rescues to test what firefighters learned in class. Bus rescues can be tricky because students are not required to wear seat belts.
"When the bus accidents happen, the students actually get thrown around in the bus," said High Point firefighter and instructor Eric Stroud.
Firefighters said they take training like this especially serious because they know that the accident victims could be their own kids. School bus crashes are rare, how due to high trip volume the likelihood of an accident is high.
"The potential's there, it could happen. Many miles traveled every day by school buses, every road in the county. So the potential's there,” said McDonald.
The mayors from across the county meet on a quarterly basis.