LIVINGSTON -- When Doyle High School teacher Matthew Stumpf received an emergency page from the Fire District 6 call center that a Livingston Parish school bus was involved in a fiery crash near Satsuma, he quickly called for an administrator to take over his classroom and rushed to the scene.
As a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical response instructor, Stumpf is trained to manage such emergencies.
“But when you hear that a school bus is involved, it’s scary. I knew I had to respond to do what I could for the kids,” Stumpf said.
Stumpf joined firefighters from Fire Districts 4, 6 and 7 at the scene to extinguish flames that engulfed the 18-wheeler truck cab that had slammed into the back of the bus.
Their quick action stopped the fire from spreading to the truck’s fuel tanks or the nearby damaged school bus.
“The thing to remember in a situation like this is to remain calm and be thorough in what you do. My job is to help get a dangerous situation under control and to stabilize it,” Stumpf said.
“I’m glad I was able to respond and know that I helped to keep our kids safe.”
Stumpf teaches emergency medical response and sports medicine classes at Doyle High. He is a former High School Teacher of the Year winner in Livingston Parish.
The accident occurred around 7:30 a.m. Sept. 14 on Florida Boulevard near the intersection of South Satsuma Road. The school bus driver had just begun the morning route for students who live in the area.
The bus did not catch fire, and the driver and three Doyle Elementary students were able to exit the bus and retreat to a safe distance.
One student was later taken to the hospital for observation and treatment of injuries.
“I certainly will take this experience back to the classroom and share it with my students,” he said.
“My students will want to learn from this real-life example, and I will have the joy of sharing what I do in a meaningful way. It’s why I do what I do,” Stumpf said.