The Texas State Railroad became the backdrop for disaster Tuesday during a mock drill and film shoot of an AmBus training video, which will be distributed to fire departments and emergency responders across the state.
The video, expected to be completed this spring, zooms in on emergency procedures for the AmBus — literally, an ambulance bus — a specialty emergency vehicle designed for mass casualty transportation.
“The state of Texas is making training videos of the different ambulance buses in operation in the state,” PRMC EMS Director Chuck Skinner said. Currently, there are 13 AmBuses assigned to the State of Texas, and one of those was awarded to the Palestine Regional Medical Center in 2012.
The AmBus is capable of transporting up to 20 patients and six medical professionals at once while providing advanced medical services during a large scale disaster. In addition to transportation, the vehicle can be utilized on location to care for sick and injured patients in the event of a disaster.
Videographers from the media production unit of the San Antonio Fire Department shot and directed the film, which will incorporate footage from all 13 AmBus regions.
Glenn Aultman, operations leader of tech services, said they wanted to pull in pertinent landmarks from each AmBus region for the film. In Austin, for instance, they shot footage around the capital. And since Palestine is known for the railroad, the crew took their high definition film equipment out there.
Aultman said the crew has been traveling all over the state getting footage. Today they are in Atascocita shooting with the AmBus there.
Students from Sandi Bristow's health sciences class at Palestine High School role-played as injured patients for the shoot, which featured footage of emergency responders leading staggering “disaster victims” into the AmBus vehicle.
Mark Neel, a paramedic at PRMC and crew chief for the ambulance bus, said the training video will allow emergency responders across the state to become better familiar with AmBus procedures.
“We train first responders, volunteer firemen (and) the larger city firemen, so everybody is comfortable with the system and how it works.”