Among the passengers of an Amtrak train that derailed in Missouri on Monday were two boy scout troops from Appleton. While on board, the scouts offered aid and comfort to other passengers.
Troop 73 master Dan Skrypczak’s son Eli was one of the scouts offering aid, specifically to the driver of the truck that was struck by the train. The driver succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. His son, like many others, is currently experiencing survivor’s guilt.
Skrypczak said he is proud not only of his son, but of all the boys life-saving efforts. Skrypczak said “We had kids clearing pathways for the EMTs, we had kids that were putting immobile passengers on backer boards and immobilizing their necks to keep them safe.”
Scout training prepared them for real-life situations, something Skrypczak said can be hard to get from other activities. “Scouting provides some of those skills that those other activities, while valuable, don’t provide.” Skrypczak said “Not too many kids in high school athletics are learning emergency management skills and life-saving, first-aid procedures that these kids had.”
The incident left three dead and more than 50 passengers injured. Skrypczak said while the boys are recovering and “varying degrees of O.K.,”, none of the scouts were seriously injured. Of the adult scout leaders on board, three are still hospitalized but are expected to recover as well.