The school bus crash in Missouri on Aug. 5 demonstrates the need for campus crisis recovery planning efforts to address mass casualty events. The number of students who were injured, fatalities and the number of students and staff who experienced the event will require significant mental health recovery capabilities.
Mass casualty school bus accidents occurring in the community are difficult, but incidents involving field trips can be even more challenging if the crash occurs in another geographic region. A robust and properly trained recovery team with a detailed written recovery plan is crucial for these types of events.
Regional and state recovery team concepts are especially helpful for these situations as well. There are also a number of emergency preparedness measures for such events, including programming student, staff and chaperone information into the emergency notification system to assist in prompt notification of parents and family members when emergencies occur.
Our thoughts are with the students, staff, family members and school officials faced with this difficult situation.
Michael Dorn serves as the executive director of Safe Havens International, a global nonprofit campus safety center. This article originally appeared on the Website of Campus Safety Magazine, a sister publication of SCHOOL BUS FLEET.