First responders reflect on Woodmore Elementary school bus crash - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

First responders reflect on Woodmore Elementary school bus crash six months later

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

This week marks six months since the tragic Woodmore Elementary school bus crash that killed six young children.

The wreck happened on November 21, 2016 and lives were changed forever. 

Two paramedics with Hamilton County EMS are recalling the events of that day. 

Trevor Wheeler and Douglas Evans were dispatched to the crash on Talley Road and were hearing reports of students on board the bus. They were among the first responders to arrive at the scene.

They say it became clear very quickly that the crash was far worse than they’d assumed it would be.

“I thought it was just any bus crash and we get there and it wasn't. It was a nightmare,” Evans told Channel 3.

It was a horrific crash involving several elementary age children.

“This isn't something you see every day. It was bad,” said Wheeler. 

Their training kicked in and they rushed to help the young patients on board the bus who were hurt.

Evans still remembers the words one little boy said to him.

“He told me he wanted to go home,” said Evans. 

The paramedics say it is difficult to think back on that day and they try not to. 

It’s the biggest event they’ve responded to during their careers and one they say brought them closer to the emergency personnel they work with on a daily basis.

Months later, Evans says he still remembers what it felt like going home to his own family at the end of his shift.

“The first thing I did was hug my kids. That's what I do every morning but I hugged them a little tighter that morning,” he told Channel 3.

This week is National EMS week, a time to say “thank you” to heroes in the community. 

Channel 3 is celebrating local responders and the work that they do each day.

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