OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – You may not think it will happen to you, but the reality is, you never know what will occur on the roads. 

As part of Ohio County Commission and Ohio County administrators’ commitment to first responders, they have provided specialized training, giving rescuers the opportunity to perfect and refine their skills on extrication methods when it comes to school buses. 

Lou Vargo, Director of the Wheeling-Ohio County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency says that the three instructors from ESI Equipment Inc. out of Montgomeryville, PA bring a combined 100 years of experience to the Ohio Valley. 

He says it’s needed now more than ever. 

“And why it’s so important to do it now is, you know school started in Ohio County and basically, throughout the Valley, so the school buses are back on the road. So, in the unforeseen event that we do have a school bus accident, now they’ve had the most latest training on how to deal with these type of accidents.”

Lou Vargo, Director, Wheeling-Ohio County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency

After spending the first two hours of the day in a classroom, learning about preparation and prevention, trainees got to be hands-on in three different scenarios – all of which are most commonly seen. 

Lead Instructor, Steve Martin, says that his 40 plus years as a responder have heightened his passion for helping others. 

“It’s exactly why I do the skills. It is the mere fact that I can impart knowledge, skills, training that we’ve assembled and used and utilized – what worked, what didn’t work in the field, and the satisfaction is, walking away from here today, is at some point in time, we as the instructors will make a difference on someone’s life.”

Steve Martin, Lead Instructor, ESI Equipment Inc.