DeKalb County (Ind.) Central School District provided two of its aging diesel buses to the Auburn Fire Department for vehicle extrication practice. - Photo courtesy Doug Cox, Auburn Fire Department

DeKalb County (Ind.) Central School District provided two of its aging diesel buses to the Auburn Fire Department for vehicle extrication practice.

Photo courtesy Doug Cox, Auburn Fire Department

DeKalb County (Ind.) Central School District recently teamed up with a local fire department to provide two of its old school buses for a bus extrication training.

The decision to host the three-day training for the Auburn Fire Department came after the school district announced that it would be scrapping five of its aging diesel buses in exchange for receiving a Volkswagen settlement grant to purchase five propane-fueled buses, Renee Dawson, the district’s transportation director, told School Bus Fleet. (The grant award reportedly totaled to $142,987, according to a document on the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s website.)

Approximately two dozen firefighters participated in the extrication training, which was held Sept. 9 to 11 at OmniSource Corp., a processor and distributor of scrap and secondary metals, according to Doug Cox, deputy chief of the Auburn Fire Department.

For nine hours each day, the firefighters learned about the construction of a school bus and participated in several exercises for bus extrication practice, Cox told SBF.

The first scenario included practicing extrication from the rear of the bus, in which firefighters had to cut a large hole to open the back of the bus so occupants can exit the vehicle. Another exercise featured the bus on its side, in which firefighters had to create an opening in the roof. In the last scenario, the bus was upright but the door was “compromised,” so firefighters had to cut a hole on the side of the bus through which occupants can exit, Cox said.

“We usually watch videos for techniques or read about the procedures for extrication, so it was nice to have the hands-on training,” Cox said.

The convenience of the partnership, Dawson added, presented a great opportunity for the buses to be used and a great learning opportunity for the firefighters who may not have had the chance to do this type of training.

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