The horrific bus-train crash Tuesday brought out the best of South Mississippi.
So we take this opportunity to thank the first responders — the firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians — who rushed to the scene.
We thank the firefighters from Gulfport, who staffed Biloxi’s stations while that city’s firefighters helped rescue passengers trapped in the crumpled bus.
We thank medical personnel from Merit Health and Keesler Air Force Base who set up a triage at the crash site to efficiently route the injured to hospitals.
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We thank the emergency staff of Merit, Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, Garden Park Hospital, and Singing River Health Systems’ Ocean Springs and Pascagoula hospitals for caring for the critically injured.
And we thank those at Keesler who put together the mass-casualty training two months ago, training that proved indispensable in a crash that killed four and injured dozens. “Because of the training at Keesler, I had a dispatcher call Keesler to ask for help,” Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney said. “They sent ambulances and medics, who did most of our triage with help from a Merit Health hospital crew. It brings a whole other level of professionalism to have access to help from Keesler.”
And we thank the clergy of all denominations who were drawn to the scene to offer comfort.
“These people didn’t know us, but we were able to make a deep connection — you could see it on their faces that they were less frightened,” said the Rev. Adam Urbaniak of Holy Spirit Parish in Vancleave, who was at an event in Biloxi when he received the call.
We have seen it time and again: In the face of tragedy or disaster, the Coast pulls together.
“The village came out to help,” Boney said. “It was a proud moment for me.”
It was a proud moment for us all.
To those who lost friends and loved ones, we offer our condolences. To the injured, may your recovery be speedy.
And to those in our community who responded to the scene, thanks again.
The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.