By Ashley Loza
Kern Valley Sun
Kern County Fire Public Information Officer Andrew Freeborn reports that at 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning, April 4, emergency services received a call from a school bus driver on Wofford Blvd. reporting an incident in which students aboard the bus were sprayed with a fluid from the bus, which the school later identified as coolant as the result of a heating system failure.
Eight students were reported to have potential burns. Seven of the eight were left in the care of their parents at the bus stop, while one was transported via helicopter to a Bakersfield area hospital for burn-related injuries.
A second call occurred at Wallace Middle School when over a dozen of the students present at the original incident complained of feeling ill.
KCFD stated that Kern County Environmental Health’s Hazardous Materials were not requested to respond. Resources on scene handled the incident as potential exposure to radiator fluid, which can be decontaminated by rinsing with water.
Of the second group, no children required medical treatment.
Kernville Union School District sent out a prompt alert to parents Thursday morning.
“I cannot say enough how proud I am of the bus driver [Bert Landry], students and all staff involved in how they handled this situation; they followed evacuation procedures which allowed everything to go so smooth,” stated Marie Sampson, KUSD’s Director of Student Services.