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Crews respond to school bus collision

Numerous first responders were on scene Thursday, Nov. 12, after one Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS) bus rear-ended another in front of the elementary school.

More than 70 students had to be screened for injuries following the crash, and two patients were transported for treatment.

According to PECPS Superintendent Dr. Barbara Johnson, the incident occurred at approximately 3:35 p.m. on Zion Hill Road between the elementary school and the central office when one bus hit another in the rear. All students needed to be evacuated and moved to the elementary school for examination.

Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad (PEVRS) Executive Director Deanna Lester stated the rescue squad was dispatched to Prince Edward Elementary on Thursday for a two-bus accident with reported injuries.

Lester said Medic 1 arrived on scene to find multiple students who had been moved into the school complaining of various injuries. Due to the nature of the incident and available resources, the event was categorized as an MCI (mass casualty incident) according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) nationwide framework for emergency response. Additional resources were requested, and the hospital was notified of the current situation.

The Farmville Volunteer Fire Department (FVFD) and Meherrin Volunteer Fire & Rescue were called in for additional transport units and added manpower.

Lester said in total, 73 students and two bus drivers had to be screened and/or triaged and treated at the scene. Two stable patients were transported by PEVRS for further treatment.

In total, 13 personnel responded to the incident, including workers with Medic 1, Rescue 11, Rescue 12, Rescue 13, EMS 1, Utility 1, and Medic 5-1.

“The school staff and inter-agency rescue personnel on scene worked together quickly and efficiently to ensure all students were given the appropriate attention and treatment,” Lester said.

FVFD Fire Chief Cayden Eagles said the situation was a flawless execution of inner department relations when it comes to an event of mass scale.

“Command requested resources in an effective manner to ensure personnel arrived to tend to the patients,” he said. “Overall, the rescue squad, fire department and other agencies did a phenomenal job during this incident, and we’re proud to be able to work and assist them.”

“On behalf of Prince Edward County Public Schools, I would like to say how much we appreciated the quick response, calm demeanor and patience that all of the first responders demonstrated in caring for our children,” Johnson said. “We are extremely fortunate to have such a supportive community.”