Paramedic reflects on Woodmore bus crash - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Paramedic reflects on Woodmore bus crash

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

It’s been one full year after the Woodmore bus crash and the first responders that were called to the scene continue to reflect on the day.

November 21, 2016 was a tough day for many people. Six young children were killed on Talley Road. While the lives of those families will never be the same, neighbors, educators, and first responders say theirs won't be either.

It was a typical Monday for Hamilton County EMS paramedics, but that quickly changed when Stacie Liles and her partner got a call they will never forget.

READ MORE | Woodmore bus crash

"I knew we were going to an accident, I just didn't realize how significant it was,” Liles said. She was the first paramedic on the scene, and in a word, she said it was chaos.

"All I could see was the wheels of the bus; I couldn't see the impact that it had until I walked around to the front of the bus,” she described.

It’s those memories that are still raw for her one year later. Responding to trauma is somewhat of a normal thing for those in this line of work. However, Woodmore was different, and some first responders sought counseling.

"We’ve got the images in our heads, the sites, the smells, the sounds, that's the toughest,” she said.

Liles, leaned on her co-workers and her husband, a Chattanooga firefighter who responded to the crash site as well. For her the real healing comes from meeting some of the survivors and seeing how far they've come in just one year.

"Of course there are deficits," Liles said. "You can tell they've been injured, but they're kids; they're resilient.”

Liles said there's not a day that goes by that she and her colleagues don't think about this day from last year and many plan to attend the vigil to pay their respects. 

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