COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – First responders in Colleton County learned how to respond to serious incidents involving a school bus during a two-day training.

A dozen firefighter-paramedics from Colleton County Fire Rescue were educated in bus construction, how to stabilize the heavy vehicles while upright and on their side, and utilized several hand tools, saws and hydraulic equipment to disassemble the vehicles.

The special training was held Saturday and Sunday at the Colleton School Bus Maintenance Shop on Old Air Base Road.

“The shop and Director Richard Holt were very accommodating, providing three old buses for the students to use,” said fire-rescue officials.

Colleton County leaders say school buses present various challenges during auto extractions because of the sturdy construction. “Buses are more stout than standard automobiles in an effort to protect their precious occupants,” officials explained.

Deputy Director Michell Steward with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) was the lead instructor during the weekend training.

Officials say Stewart has taught the course for over 25 years and has an extensive background in vehicle extrication. He was assisted by Battalion Chief Scott Feather.