St. Charles County retrofits old school bus to mass casualty ambulance

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ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – A unique emergency vehicle is giving first responders in St. Charles County the ability to better handle mass casualty situations.

It’s much more than your average school bus, it’s been turned into an ambulance. It’s one of the first of its kind in this region, meant to transport victims of mass casualties to the hospital.

“Emergencies can happen all over the region at a moment’s notice, so it’s good to have that asset available, ready to go,” said Kyle Gaines, St. Charles County Ambulance District.

Mass casualties may not be something you want to think about but they are a reality that first responders must prepare for.

“Situations where an asset like this would be beneficial present themselves all the time, unfortunately: weather events, school bus accidents, evacuations of a long-term care facility,” Gaines said.

Just this week, the St. Charles County Ambulance District brought its mass casualty bus out to a hazmat situation at an office building in O’Fallon, where 12 people were treated, but so far, they haven’t needed to transport anyone to the hospital on the bus.

The bus also has triage first aid packs, an oxygen delivery system, and radio communication capabilities.

“So this asset is primarily going to be used for transport for victims with minor or moderate injuries,” Gaines said. “Obviously, those with more critical injuries would be transported by traditional ambulance.”

Officials said the bus is prepared to go out on any mass emergency call anywhere in our region.

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