CES prepares for emergencies with Arctic Winter Games buses

Posted: Thursday, June 09, 2005

As a part of the preparations for the upcoming 2006 Arctic Winter Games on the Kenai Peninsula, Central Emergency Services will conduct bus-extrication training for emergency responders this weekend.

Participants will tear apart three buses, using various hand tools and hydraulic rescue tools, staging an emergency involving buses that might be carrying athletes to and from sports venues around the peninsula, according to CES engineer and paramedic Jack Anderson.

"We're expecting up to 60 people to be trained," Anderson said.

A special site has been prepared for the exercises at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Landfill in Soldotna.

The training begins with introductions and classroom instruction Friday from 6 to 10 p.m., followed by a full day of hands-on training Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and a follow-up session from 8:30 to noon.

Anderson said CES hopes to have representatives from every emergency response agency on the Kenai Peninsula at the training. Additionally, ConocoPhillips and BP employees from the North Slope have signed up.

Tuition for the three days of training is $250 per person and Anderson said scholarships are available for those agencies with limited funding.

In addition to preparing responders for the Arctic Winter Games, the training will have a lasting benefit as many of the peninsula's school children are bused to and from school at times when hazardous road conditions exist, Anderson said.

Besides learning proper methods for tearing apart buses in order to rescue trapped passengers, trainees will learn safety features of buses and learn what training bus drivers have received for proper evacuation and response in case of an emergency.

Anderson said the reason the training is being conducted at the landfill is so, once the buses are dismantled, they won't need to be hauled off for disposal.

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