SANDLICK, Ky. (WYMT) - People driving through Letcher County on Thursday might have noticed firefighters, paramedics and the coroner on the scene of a bus crash.
But, no worries. It was all fake.
Students from the drama team at Letcher County Central High School played the victims, sporting fake blood and screaming to simulate injuries while stuck inside the overturned bus.
"When the (emergency) page went out, we went into a full mode," Sandlick fire chief Chris Sexton said. "We went just like we would do if a major disaster happened. It's just as close as we could get to the real thing."
First responders used the jaws of life to cut their way to the victims.
Some walked out with minor injuries. Others were taken away on stretchers. The coroner was even called to pronounce one student dead, prompting school officials to push our cameras back, away from the body.
"The purpose is like with a fire drill," superintendent Anna Craft said. "You do them over and over and you find out what's wrong what's the time frame. Then in a real emergency or disaster people know their roles and can act faster and save lives more readily."
Some of the students faking injuries were actually taken to the hospital in order to simulate the response to an actual bus crash.
Dorothy Whitaker was playing a victim hurt so badly she had to be flown to the hospital on a helicopter.
"I didn't expect it to be that emotional." Whitaker said. "Whenever I looked over at everybody it was almost like it was real. It was different. I enjoyed it a lot."
The blood was not real. But the training was.
And if a bus crash this horrific ever happens, officials in Letcher County are ready.
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