Response to ‘code orange’ gets gold star
|By Alex Coop - Staff Writer | June 15, 2017|
It was all hands on deck Monday morning as Haliburton County Paramedic Services mobilized all four of its ambulances, and one emergency response vehicle, in what deputy Chief Tim Waite called a “very rare occasion.”
“That doesn’t happen often at all,” Waite told The Highlander after 16 students were sent to Haliburton hospital June 12 following a collision between two buses.
Fifty-two Grade 8 graduates from Don Valley Middle School were minutes away from Camp White Pine when one of the buses collided with a second bus on Highway 118 just after 11 a.m. In less than an hour, the 16 students were transported to the hospital.
Dysart firefighters and Haliburton Highlands Ontario Provincial Police attended the scene.
One off-duty paramedic also responded to the call.
Injuries ranged from minor facial, neck and back injuries, Waite said.
“A call with that volume of patients would test the largest of services, but certainly our paramedics responded,” he added. “I have nothing but compliments for the staff.”
The Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) initiated a code orange shortly after the accident.
A code orange is called to coordinate a safe and effective response to an event that may increase the capacity of the hospital.
There were no life-threatening injuries, Carolyn Plummer, president and CEO of HHHS, confirmed to The Highlander.
Due to privacy concerns, she was not able to comment further on the status of the students.
“The staff here did an amazing job managing the situation. Everyone went above and beyond to make sure the students received the care and support they needed,” she said.
Students were shaken, said Tyler Gmyrek, one of the teachers accompanying the students to the camp as part of a graduation trip.
“But nothing major, a few bumps and bruises,” Gmyrek told The Highlander shortly after the accident.
While making a right turn into the camp, one of the buses made a sudden stop, causing the one behind it to rear-end it, Gmyrek explained.
The investigation is still ongoing, according to the Haliburton Highlands OPP, with the assistance of the Central Region OPP Technical Traffic Collision Investigation Unit.
As of press time, no charges have been laid.
ALEX COOP is a reporter for The Highlander.