I spent most of the day Sunday working at the scene of a school bus that plunged (buses always “plunge”!) over the side of a steep embankment on Ouray County’s famous “Million Dollar Highway” below Red Mountain Pass.
This Was Only a Drill
The good news is, we pushed the bus over; it was a field training exercise for Ouray County EMS, which ran the exercise, the Ouray Mountain Rescue Team, our vehicle extrication team, the Ouray Fire Department, the county sheriff’s department, and a few others mixed in for good measure, including representatives of two adjacent counties.
We even had mock victims to save; 15 people who were made up with fake injuries and inserted into the bus (yes, after it was sent over the side, and after it was stabilized to ensure no one got hurt for real).
I’m a volunteer for our EMS system, but I actually worked it via my “other” volunteer job: I’m the county communications guy, and it was my responsibility to ensure everyone had the ability to communicate. We used six different channels to do it.
Once we had everything in place, I didn’t have all that much to do, so I ran around with my camcorder and shot a bunch of video — including footage of the bus going over. It’s a fairly wild shot (there’s a slow-motion of it at the end), and the following video puts it all into perspective for you:
And by the way, yes: my wife is in there too, if you know where to look. 🙂