I’m sure we’ve all been in the situation where we mind our business, walk into an elevator, and you’re suddenly, metaphorically, smacked in the face with someone’s cologne. You spend the next 45 seconds while riding the floors up and holding your breath. All while you can feel the headache come on. This feeling is even worse for people who are extra sensitive to smells or have allergies. And, some sprays are more aggressive than others. If you’ve experienced this, you’ll likely feel some empathy for the muddle grade students who were on a bus that had to be evacuated because of too much Axe Body Spray.
According to Today, the Parrish Fire Department and Manatee County EMS in Florida responded to a “hazardous materials incident” 911 call from a local school bus. The call was made to the emergency services after students complained of a strong odor, the statement from the Parish Fire Department said.
The school bus, which was carrying 30 middle-grade students, was evacuated and Parrish Fire District Division Chief Mike Williamson interviewed all the student son board the bus to try and pinpoint the mysterious smell was causing all the drama.
About half of the students were complaining of mild respiratory irritation and were treated by first responders. The students were all then transported to a high school where they could be picked up by their parents—and the investigators tried to find out what happened.
According to reports, no one was fessing up to the cause of the distress or admitting to what was causing the smell. “We had heard reports from other community members that it’s somehow a thing with kids spraying it all over each other to smell nice or prank each other,” Williamson said to Today. “They must have watched a lot of episodes of Band of Brothers because they would not say who did it.”
But, as any good investigator would do, the students were lined up and they were very quickly able to tell where the smell was coming from. “Once I got down the line, I was able to determine it,” Williamson explained. “Before I could even tell [the student] what I was looking for, I made a motion like I was spraying, and he handed me an empty bottle of the black Axe Body Spray. I could smell it all over him.”
“On a serious note, this was a very good total collaboration of an emergency response between the fire department, EMS, the sheriff’s office and the school board,” Williamson said. “It was a good test. We take everything as a serious threat because we can’t afford not to.”
Now, if you’ve ever smelled Axe Body Spray, you’ll know that it’s pretty aggressive in smell, and there’s no question that if riding a bus with all the windows shut and someone unleashed a whole bottle onto someone what kind of reaction that could have. It’s no wonder it cleared out the entire bus.
“I never say I’ve seen it all because the minute I say that, something else has to top it,” Williamson said.