Bus Crash Shows Need for Mass Casualty Event Recovery Planning

Those plans should also cover field trips.

The school bus crash in Missouri Aug. 5 demonstrates the need for campus crisis recovery planning efforts to address mass casualty events. The number of students who were injured, fatalities and the number of students and staff who experienced the event will require significant mental health recovery capabilities. 

Mass casualty school bus accidents occurring in the community are difficult, but incidents involving field trips can be even more challenging if the crash occurs in another geographic region. A robust and properly trained recovery team with a detailed written recovery plan are crucial for these types of events.

Regional and state recovery team concepts are especially helpful for these situations as well.  There are also a number of emergency preparedness measures for such events such as programming student, staff and chaperone information into the emergency notification system to assist in prompt notification of parents and family members when emergencies occur.

Our thoughts are with the students, staff, family members and school officials faced with this difficult situation.

About the Author

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Michael Dorn serves as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a global non profit campus safety center. During his 30 year campus safety career, Michael has served as a university police officer, corporal, sergeant and lieutenant. He served as a school system police chief for ten years before being appointed the lead expert for the nation's largest state government K-20 school safety center. The author of 25 books on school safety, his work has taken him to Central America, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia, South Africa and the Middle East. Michael welcomes comments, questions or requests for clarification at mike@weakfish.org. Note: The views expressed by guest bloggers and contributors are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Campus Safety magazine.

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