Major Incidents, Mass Casualty Incidents, Patient Care, Trauma

First Responders Rescue & Treat Patients in Bus Crash

Issue 5 and Volume 36.

On Feb. 21, a bus from the Light of Love Mission that was transporting four adults and 18 children from a weekend retreat at a ski area collided with a sport utility vehicle traveling in the opposite direction near Twin Peaks, Calif., 70 miles east of Los Angeles. Then, the bus struck a utility pole and slid off a mountain highway into trees at the bottom of a ravine. First responders, firefighters and EMS crews triaged, treated and transported the injured patients to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, Kaiser Permanente in Hollywood and Loma Linda University Medical Center. The driver was the only occupant killed; 11 were hospitalized. Three were in critical condition with severe head injuries, abdominal bleeding and fractures. On scene, crews used color-coded tarps to organize, triage and stage the patients. The tarps were also beneficial in insulating the victims from the cold, wet, rural roadway.

This article originally appeared in May 2011 JEMS as “Entrapped Children.”