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July 23, 2013

Attention, Windham: This bus 'crash' is only a drill


It can be very difficult to cut into a vehicle until you know how it is built, Morgan said.

“We go out and see how things work,” he said.

They were thorough in their training.

“Basically, we were able to take the whole cab off,” he said.

Firefighters have been using tools like a reciprocating saw, which lets firefighters cut fast with different blades through wood or steel.

They have jacked up the bus with air bags and stabilized it with cribbing and blocking. They have used other tools for spreading and cutting, too.

There are always valuable lessons.

“We found out ways to move windows in a hurry,” Morgan said.

They suit up for practice, wearing helmets and gloves.

“They are doing the things they need to do to be ready to go,” he said.

What’s nice about training is firefighters can take time to experiment in a way they couldn’t with a real bus crash out on the road.

“When things go wrong, we stop,” Morgan said. “We say, ‘What’s going on here?’ We may be using the wrong tool and we find out what’s most effective.”

For Morgan, there’s no substitute to these drills.

“Training is always very important,” he said. “You need fire personnel to do this.”

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