At 2125 hours, the assignment was alerted for a motor vehicle accident, involving an occupied school bus, at the intersection of Budds Creek Road and Mechanicsville Road. This brought Rescue Squad 2, Rescue Squad 5, EMS Stations 29, 59, 19 and SMALS on the initial dispatch.
Fire Chief 2, Rescue Squad 2 and Engine 23 went enroute at dispatch. Additional information was relayed that the bus was occupied with at least forty (40) occupants and was in the woods with unknown injuries or entrapment. At this time, Chief 2 requested an additional rescue, which brought Rescue Squad 1 to the incident.
The Chief arrived, confirming at least two vehicles involved, the bus in the woods, which was being evacuated and established the "Budds Creek Road Command".
Rescue Squad 2 and Engine 23 arrived and began multiple tasks, including triage and patient removal, which required extrication on a couple of the injured. After a thorough assessment, the assignment was held to all the EMS units and units from Stations 2 and 22.
In all, there were three (3) vehicles involved in the collision. There were thirty-three (33) occupants on the school bus comprised of the Great Mills High School girls basketball team and staff, of which fifteen (15) students, the bus driver and one adult were transported to St. Mary's Hospital. Additionally, two occupants of one of the other vehicles involved were also transported to St. Mary's Hospital. The driver of the third vehicle was in the custody of the Maryland State Police and the other occupant was not injured.
A great job was performed by all involved in this incident. The Department wishes a speedy recovery to those injured and a special thanks is extended to the St. Mary's County Board of Education personnel on the scene for their assistance.
Units operated on the scene for approximately three hours.