Madison’s emergency responders were the first to answer the call after a charter bus overturned on I-95 north on Monday.
The bus was headed to Mohegan Sun Casino from New York City when it overturned in the area of exit 61.
The 911 calls started rolling in to Madison Police Headquarters at about 12:20 p.m. That’s when first responders rushed to the scene.
Responders at the scene sorted out the injured and uninjured, and worked to get everyone off the highway.
Dozens of ambulances flooded the Madison Town Campus, coming from about 20 surrounding towns.
"You don't train for this every day, but when it does happen it just seems to work,” said Madison Fire Chief Robert Kyttle. “With the town of Guilford and North Madison, everything fell into place one by one as everyone got there."
Those who were not injured were brought to the gymnasium on the town campus to stay warm.
Those injured in the crash were taken to Yale-New Haven, the Yale-New Haven location in Guilford, Middlesex Hospital, Shoreline Medical Center in Westbrook and the Hospital of St. Raphael's.
The town recreation bus, and ambulances all pitched in to transport people off the highway.
Police said initially, 33 of the 55 people on board were taken to the gym. However, once the medical response team started doing a secondary assessment of the victims, 12 more went to the hospital.
"Once the adrenaline went down, some other folks complained of additional injuries they wanted to be checked out at the hospital for,” said Chris Bernier, of Madison EMS.
Those who did stay at the gym were given cots, blankets, food, water and coffee.
Late Monday afternoon, Dahlia sent another bus to pick them up.
The victims who were not injured told Eyewitness News they didn't speak well enough English to talk about the incident, but the language of a therapy dog is universal, and helped on Monday.
Spartacus, and his handler Brad Cole, are part of a K9 first responder team. They have been called in for other tragedies in the state, like the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and the deadly stabbing at Jonathan Law High School.
"Just by the mere fact of petting a dog, it helps out physically with them, but he brings a level of calmness," Cole said. "We're told it helps people themselves calm down and realize, 'ok, it's going to be alright'."
On Monday, the team was called to spend time with the 21 people waiting at the warming center.
"Just to help them kind of pass the time and provide a diversion for them," Cole added.
It is unclear if the snowy weather was the cause of the bus crash.
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