EMS Director reflects on Woodmore crash

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — On the day before the one year anniversary of the Woodmore bus crash, the Hamilton County EMS director is reflecting on how well first responders handled the situation.

This playground, behind a church off Moore Road, honors the six children who were killed in the Woodmore bus crash on November 21, 2016. Nearby, on Talley Road is where the crash took place. It’s a day first responders won’t forget.

“It is a job that comes with it such heartbreak from our perspective. We have children, we have grandchildren, we are members of this community and what we did that day was a result of years of practice and drills and preparing for this type of event that you pray never occurs, but you react and respond when it does occur,” said Ken Wilkerson, HAmilton County EMS Director.

Hamilton County EMTs and paramedics participate in regional disaster training drills with other first responders.

“Those drills teach us how to do effective care for patients in mass casualty, how to do responsive and responsible triage of those patients, and how to interact with each other in a true incident command setting,” Wilkerson said.

On the day of the crash, first responders knew they had a job to do.

“They tried their best to put their personal thoughts out of their minds and to react as was needed by the situation by the injuries and by what they were faced with. I was on the scene also and responded out there and ended up as a medical sector supervisor, coordinating the needs of the care providers with the resources that were available to come in and assist as we needed those resources,” Wilkerson said.

It wasn’t until after the crash, first responders were able to reflect on what happened.

“Only when it was over did we have the opportunity to sit and think about had just occurred and what we did and what part we played in that,” Wilkerson said.

On Tuesday afternoon, there will be a private memorial service at Woodmore Elementary. After that, at 6:15 p.m. a public vigil will be held at the intersection of Midwoode Drive and Talley Road.

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