GFR responds to 3-vehicle accident involving a school bus, a vehicle fire, and downed power lines

Press release from Gainesville Fire Rescue

At 8:37 a.m. today, Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR) crews were alerted by passing motorists to a three-vehicle collision involving a school bus, downed power lines, and one vehicle that was on fire.

Arriving crews found one vehicle fully involved with fire, a power pole that had been broken in half, and one critical patient, all in the middle of a busy roadway. City workers from GFR, GPD, and GRU, as well as County School Board workers and ambulance crews went to work mitigating the hazards and caring for the injuries.

Incident Commander Jeffery Schuhmacher said the scene was challenging because it involved so many hazards and multiple disciplines. Assistant Fire Chief Shawn Hillhouse explained that the fire department trains for events like this one, including mass casualty incidents, vehicle fire, and downed power lines. GFR also carries specialized equipment called “hot sticks” and “electrical gloves” that would allow the crews to remove energized electrical lines from a vehicle to rescue occupants. Additionally in the City, a response to a motor vehicle crash requiring extrication always involves a dedicated fire engine in case the vehicles catch fire.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation. There were no children on the bus. One driver was transported in critical condition, and multiple people were evaluated on scene. No safety personnel we injured in the response. Gainesville Fire Rescue would like to remind all drivers to slow down, drive cautiously, and watch for school buses!