MINERVA The work is painstaking, tough and critically important. It involves hard work, patience, and above all, teamwork. During two Monday evening four-hour classes, a group of 31 firefighters from eight different fire companies gathered at the Minerva Volunteer Fire Department to receive both classroom and practical skills training regarding school bus rescue. Provided by the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, this course began with a PowerPoint presentation Sept. 8 that focused on school bus safety systems, construction and extrication strategies, hazards, and problems associated with school bus rescues. Comparisons between aspects of charter buses and school buses were also presented as part of the course. On Sept. 15, the practical skills training allowed firefighters to train on school bus stabilization, primary and secondary entry, patient stabilization, extrication skills, and bus rollovers. An old, full-size bus provided by Pat Cunningham of Cunninghams Ski Barn in North Creek was cut, ripped, carefully See TRAINING, page 4 mangled, and pushed on its side during this all-important training. Three teams of firefighters from various companies worked simultaneously on different areas of the bus during the exercise. 15 members of the Minerva Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad (MVFDRS) took part in this training, which also attracted firefighters from Newcomb, Schroon Lake, South Glens Falls, Ticonderoga, West Fort Ann, West Glens Falls, and Wevertown fire departments. Minerva Fire Chief Kerry Killon was very pleased with the course and the turnout. It was a good crowd and everyone involved learned a lot about school bus rescue, said Killon. Everyone was satisfied with the course. This important training would not have been possible without the hard work of many dedicated individuals. Essex County Fire Coordinator Ray Thatcher helped set up this NYS course on behalf of area firefighters, with Travis Howe standing in as the MVFDRS liaison. Thanks to Frank Planty and Sons of Warrensburg for towing the Cunninghams bus from North Creek to the Minerva firehouse at no charge. The course was, indeed, an important one and helped serve to make the MVFDRS and other participating fire companies better prepared to handle a school bus emergency.