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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---The mass casualty bus first arrived before Thunder over Louisville in April of 2012 and has made an appearance around the community, but last Friday after a JCPS bus crashed, first responders with Louisville Metro EMS put it to the test.
As JCPS students were transported to area hospitals, many more at the site of a rollover bus crash on Lower River Road were being transported in a different way!
After a red Mustang collided with a school bus that was heading to Frost Middle School, 24 students were put on a mass casualty bus.
The crash was the first time the bus was used to transport patients.
"What that did, was that gave you the ability to keep 12 ambulances on the street for the community," says Lt. Col. Lee Dennison with Louisville Metro EMS.
The mass casualty bus serves as a mini-transport hospital with medical supplies.
"These are the stretchers that are mounted. They're also removable," says Lt. Col. Dennison, as he showed us inside the bus.
It can hold up to 24 patients and has the ability to be stationary for up to 2 weeks.
"It has a 100 gallon diesel tank on it. It will run itself until it runs out of gas," says Lt. Col. Dennison.
EMS officials showed us examples of just what they can do with the new bus.
Using a winching system, they don't even have to physically lift a patient onto the bus. This comes in handy, in situations where it's hard to lift someone.
The floor can also accommodate wheelchairs, and the ceiling is dry erase walls that can be used for information.
"If you have pertinent patient information, you can write everything down, and once you get done transporting the patient and finish up, just wipe it off," says Lt. Col. Lee Dennison.
EMS officials say there are many ways this bus is already coming in handy.
They say the JCPS bus crash just proved what it could do.
"It did what it was supposed to do. It's what we always talked about it was supposed to do. It helped. it helped a lot," says Lt. Col. Lee Dennison.
The mass casualty bus costs more than $300,000 dollars and was purchased with help from a Homeland Security grant.