Lyon County Emergency Management Director credits relationships, planning for smooth response to Wednesday bus crash Featured

Lyon County Emergency Management Director credits relationships, planning for smooth response to Wednesday bus crash Lyon County Sheriff's Office photo

If it seems Lyon County's rather significant role in handling Wednesday's bus crash in Chase County went smoothly, Emergency Management Director Jarrod Fell says a lot of planning went into that response.


Fell says Emporia Fire and EMS and Lyon County EMS are official response agencies for the Kansas Turnpike, so when a USD 259 Wichita bus crashed on the highway 15 miles southwest of Emporia, the Turnpike Authority called Lyon County's Emergency Communications Center. Deputies, Emporia Fire and Kansas Highway Patrol troopers responded -- and it didn't take long to realize more resources were needed.

Lyon County sent Fell and three deputies to the site, while Emporia Fire sent three ambulances, a rescue truck and several additional staffers. Emporia Public Schools sent a bus and also opened Emporia High as a temporary shelter, while Williams Automotive and Journeys sent buses to help. LifeSave dispatched an ambulance and Butler County EMS sent three units to help the effort. CrossWinds also had staff help at Emporia High.

Fell says there is now "constant communication" between different entities to make sure potential high-end situations, like a bus crash, are handled smoothly.

All told, 26 Wichita students were taken from the crash site to Newman Regional Health. Nine of those were first taken to Emporia High before going to the hospital. The students were on a field trip to Topeka. Fell thanked everybody involved for their efforts and willingness to help.

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Last modified on Monday, 17 February 2020 15:30