For only the second time in recent years, Hope Secondary School was used as an emergency hub following last week’s horrific 24-vehicle pileup on the Coquihalla Highway.
According to Hope fire chief Tom DeSorcy, a portion of HSS was briefly used as a way station of sorts; a place for those on an eBus who were uninjured to get warm and board a new bus. There were 20 passengers and the driver involved in transferring to a new vehicle and carrying on to their next destination. This was all done in the course of half an hour.
DeSorcy said paramedics used the secondary school as a secondary triage to ensure passengers coming off the eBus had no ill effects.
“Only one person required some medical attention,” he added.
While there are always concerns introducing a new group of people into a COVID-controlled environment, DeSorcy said the school had a low volume of students that day and they were able to accomodate the passengers without encountering the cohorts in the building that day.
The last time the secondary school was used as an emergency centre was in 2018 during a similar crash along Highway 5. There are other facillites in the region that can be used in an emergency situation like this, including the Hope Legion and the Hope and Area Recreation Centre.