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Dix Hills School Bus Accident Injures 27

Photo by Dix Hills Fire Department

Photo by Dix Hills Fire Department

At 7:52 a.m. on February 13, 2015, the Dix Hills Fire Department was activated for a Motor Vehicle Accident between a school bus and a box truck at the intersection of Deer Park Avenue and Seaman Neck Road in Dix Hills. Dix Hills FD First Assistant Chief Thomas Napolitano arrived on scene, along with a paramedic at 7:55 a.m., and found numerous injured passengers. He immediately alerted authorities of a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) requiring additional resources and EMTs.

Within minutes, three ambulances from the Dix Hills Fire Department arrived on scene, followed shortly by mutual aid ambulances from Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps, East Northport Fire Department, Melville Fire Department, West Babylon Fire Department, and the Wyandanch-Wheatley Heights Ambulance Corps. The Greenlawn Fire Department also provided an ambulance, which was rerouted during the incident to handle a second Motor Vehicle Accident on the LIE at exit 52. They subsequently transported patients from that accident.

Additionally, Suffolk County Fire-Rescue & Emergency Services sent the “MERV” (Major Emergency Response Vehicle). The MERV is designed to provide Mass Casualty Incident response and transport, medical evacuations, on-site triage, firefighter and EMS rehabilitation and medical support for long-term emergency incidents. Fortunately, there were no series injuries and police are investigating how the crash exactly happened.

Also on scene were firefighters and a Dix Hills Heavy Rescue Engine, which used the hydraulic spreaders, better known as the “Jaws of Life”, to extricate a passenger from the box truck.

According to First Assistant Chief Napolitano, “Arriving on scene, I immediately recognized the need for additional ambulances and EMTs. Given the number of school buses that travel throughout our area daily, our department holds trainings on school bus mass casualty events, so we were prepared for an incident such as this.” Chief Napolitano further commented, “The first responders from Dix Hills, and the mutual aid departments, did a great job maintaining a calm and controlled scene, especially with the frigid weather conditions.”

There were 27 people injured and transported from the scene, 14 by ambulances, and 13 on the MERV, which was manned by three Dix Hills EMTs. All the patients transported sustained non-life threatening injuries, and were treated at four area hospitals. The school bus, operated by Educational Bus Transport Corp, was traveling from Copiague High School to Wilson Technological Center in Dix Hills. The box truck was leased from Enterprise Rental Corp. According to police, both vehicles were impounded at the scene by the Suffolk County Police Department Motor Carrier Safety Section for safety checks.

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