Schoharie County Fire and EMS is severely strained at noon on Thursday, 10/21 when a school bus and dump truck have collided. I only heard the audio piece from a local television station, but first reports are 40+ on the school bus. At least 2 helicopters are in service transporting the most serious to Albany Medical Center. Bassett Hospital in Cobleskill is the primary destination for the non critical.
I believe there are around 15+ volunteer EMS providers in our county and would guess a large number were called into this situation.
My department I'm assuming is there so I'll have further details as I talk to them in the upcoming days.

Thursday 10/21@22:30

I attended the critique for this incident this evening. Central Bridge Chief Eric Johnson and his first assistant, Scott Johnson, (yes, his son) are being credited with an excellent initial organization effort and the implimentation of the ICS to handle this situation. 54 victims were involved in this accident. 12 Ambulances, (10 volunteer and 2 from the Rural Metro) responded, 3 Helicopters transported the victims to 4 area hospitals. The dump truck T=boned the school bus behind the back wheel, passenger's side. Consider this--the side of the bus was only pushed 6-8 inches to the center of the bus. Don't let any politician shout about poor bus construction and unsafe conditions..NOT! Praise was handed out all around at this critique. It was generally felt that this ran better than any preplanned drill. It was noted that the Schoharie FD had conducted an MCI drill within the past year and that had been a big help in today's incident. 26 of the walking wounded were loaded on a school bus from the Schoharie Central school nearby and our local hospital, Bassett Hospital of Schoharie County in Cobleskill, had implimented their disaster preparedness regiment. Each student was assigned to a hospital representative--GREAT results. It was noted that there was no hysteria among any of the children at the hospital. Also, our local sheriff's office showed up at the scene with a bagful of teddy bears from the DARE program, and it was also noted this had a tremendous settling affect on these students. Everyone agreed a total team effort and excellent organization allowed for the transportation of all victims from the scene within an hour of the incident.

The NTSB will be involved, of course, and 9 reps will be reviewing the impounded vehicles in the coming days and weeks.

No stated cause or tickets have been issued at this time.

Congratulations to all EMS and fire providers for a fabulous job.

[This message has been edited by GAC (edited October 21, 1999).]