The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 26, 2012

Somerset County EMS recognized for school bus crash response

The Tribune-Democrat

— The Somerset County 911 Center was the recipient of a 2012 Pennsylvania State EMS Award.

The annual awards, presented Nov. 19 in Camp Hill, recognize individuals and organizations that have provided outstanding community service as part of Pennsylvania’s emergency medical services system.

The awards ceremony is presented by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of EMS and the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council.

On hand for the presentation were Joseph Schmider, director of PA DOH Bureau of EMS; Beverly Cunningham, Region 13 assistant; Dave Fox, 911 coordinator/deputy EMS director; Geraldine Budzina, 911 dispatcher; and David Jones, president of PA Emergency Health Services Council.

The center received the award for its coordinated communications of the March 14 incident when a school bus collided head-on with a tractor-trailer. There were 20 injured students and a fatality in the other vehicle. The 911 center coordinated 20 EMS units, seven medical helicopters and multiple fire units.

As fortune would have it, the incident occurred at shift change and during a training class, so all available staff rushed to the communication center to lend support.