All Aboard Bus No. 911

Posted on February 10, 2010 by - Also by this author

Page 1 of 2

A medical emergency is a question of when it will occur rather than if. An estimated 750 million passengers are transported each year by charter bus based on numbers from the U.S. Department of Transportation in November 2009. A third of those passengers are senior citizens, says Paul Bourquin, a charter bus industry analyst for Nathan and Associates. Collectively, charter buses travel some 1.9 billion miles each year.

Being Prepared

This is perhaps the most critical component of achieving a positive outcome when a medical emergency arises. Having a specific plan of action, basic medical training, and a well-equipped vehicle can mean the difference between life and death when a medical emergency occurs miles from the nearest medical facility.

In a USA Today report, the average nationwide response time for first-responders such as the fire department or an ambulance is 6 to 15 minutes. Linda Ford, an emergency room RN with Mercy Hospital of Bakersfield, Calif., says medical professionals consider the “platinum 10 minutes” and the “golden hour” the benchmarks in survival of a massive heart attack or stroke. Drivers should be taught to follow a sequence of events that includes asking other passengers to assist, especially anyone with medical training who may be on board, and calling 911 for help immediately.

Calling 911

In most cases, when you dial 911, you will reach a law enforcement agency, says Hillary Luff, a 911 dispatcher in the Kern County Emergency Communications Center in California. [Luff is the wife of Jim Luff].

Luff says it is critical to tell the operator that you have a medical emergency as soon as the phone is answered. You will be transferred to a dispatcher who can provide medical instructions while the first responders are en route. Luff says one of the biggest frustrations for 911 operators handling highway emergencies is the lack of awareness by callers of their location.

When stating your location, name the highway, road or street you are on, the direction you are traveling, and the last offramp, mile marker, or other landmark you remember passing. If you know the next offramp or landmark ahead of you, state that information and the fact that you are between the two locations. If you are using a GPS navigation system, provide the coordinates shown by your GPS. Describe your vehicle.

Remember that the dispatcher who answers the phone works with a team of people, and other dispatchers are sending help to you, Luff says. She says many callers get frustrated believing the dispatcher is asking questions instead of sending help. The dispatcher will remain on the phone with you until help arrives, providing you with instructions that must be followed exactly. Do not hang up until you are told to, Luff says.

Reporting Patient Condition

Be prepared to provide as much information as possible about the symptoms of your passenger to determine what type of medical emergency is occurring. This can include the passenger’s approximate age, sex, skin condition such as dry and hot, cold and clammy, turning red or blue. Check to see if the passenger is breathing and has a pulse. See if the passenger is conscious and aware of surroundings or confused and dazed. Luff says reporting these “vital conditions” as soon as possible in the 911 call can help determine what action will be taken. “Never move a patient unless there is an immediate danger to the patient,” Luff says.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Ford Van Shuttle Takes Care Of Business

Pick Of The Week: This Turtle Top executive chauffeured vehicle is ready to transport your clients safely and comfortably.

BMW’s 7 Series Features Plush, High-Tech Cabin

The vehicle provides a highly desirable environment for sophisticated drivers and passengers.

Cadillac CT6: Impressive Technology, Smooth Ride

The premium luxury AWD version of the vehicle brings some tech and driving experience to the table.

Palace of Versailles Inspired Rolls-Royce Going To Auction

The creator modeled the rear seats after a sedan chair that once belonged to Marie Antoinette.

Lincoln Continental Is Hypnotically Gorgeous

Vehicle Review: The new brand philosophy is built around "quiet luxury" — the idea is to express a premium attitude without shouting.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - October 2016 $12.95 COVER STORY: * Leverage Tech To Levitate Your Operations * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close