SOUTHAVEN — Mississippi’s largest school district now can turn two of its school buses into ambulances holding up to a dozen stretchers each.
DeSoto County Schools recently got two conversion kits under an emergency management agency program using a state health department grant.
The Commercial Appeal reports that that the district had a trial run Friday, setting up the “AmbuBus” and loading it with people on stretchers.
“This was our first chance to exercise it and we’ve still got some work to do to make sure we can maximize its effectiveness,” DCS director of transportation John Caldwell said. “We’re learning it and hopefully we’ll have it as an asset for the community.”
The first 14 kits were delivered in 2009 to six locations around Mississippi.
DeSoto County Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Tim Curtis and chief deputy director Chris Olson also were at district’s bus barn in Southaven on Friday.
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was among several emergencies when the kits would have been useful, Curtis said.
“Most recently, during the spring floods, there were a couple of nursing homes that were in danger of the Mississippi River flooding,” Curtis said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have our kit yet. With us being the farthest north, we’re getting our stuff last.”
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