This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.


Bus drills require close, serious moni-

toring and student control. When school bus drivers conduct drills, it is recom- mended a teacher or school adminis- trator also be present to help maintain student control and witness the event for documentation. Te key is letting students know behavioral expectations during drills and enforcing the rules. Drivers must ensure safety by preventing any of the following errors: Jumping out the back door.Unfor-

tunately, this dangerous phrase is still in current use with bus drivers, supervisors, and even some trainers. Never allow children to jump to the ground, no matter how athletic they are and no matter how much they want to. Children should be required to “sit and slide” when they exit from an emergency door; it should not be an option. In addition, two reliable “spot- ters” should be selected ahead of time and shown exactly how to “steady” children as they slide to the ground. Pushing and shoving during the

evacuation. Maintaining strict order during the evacuation practice will pay off in a real emergency. Just as important, orderly evacuation reduces the chance that a child will trip or fall out of an exit and be injured. Bringing coats, book bags, or lunch

pails. Students should leave all items in their seats. Trying to hold personal items as they evacuate will slow the process and could result in an injury if the item becomes caught in the door mechanism, fall into the aisle and become a tripping hazard, etc. Drills should be conducted in a safe

location on school grounds. Drills should not be conducted on the route. A prearranged, isolated area (for instance, in a rear parking lot) is safest. Children need to be protected from other traffic as they exit the bus during a practice evacuation. To protect them, the bus driver should leave the red flashers activated during the practice evacuation. School cooperation. Drills must be planned in close cooperation with the school. “Springing” drills on a school without prior notification is unprofession- al and creates an unnecessary rift between school and transportation staff. Since school personnel should be present when drills are conducted, planning ahead of time makes this more likely. A drill sched-

ule should be worked out well ahead of time between the building principal and the transportation dupervisor, terminal manager, or supervising trainer. Drills involving students with spe- cial needs. Children with special needs are not exempt from drills, but safety concerns must be seriously considered. Children may have special physical, medical, or emotional conditions that require close supervision and assistance from school personnel or parents during a practice evacuation. Close planning with the school — often involving the child’s teacher, occupational therapist, or physical therapist — is absolutely essential. Practice evacuations are even more important for routes that transport children with special needs. In a real emergency, getting children with special needs and conditions off the bus quickly will be much more challenging. Tere is no legal, moral, or logical justification for excluding children with special needs from evacuation practice. Before practicing an evacuation with students with special needs, the driver and attendant must devise a detailed evacuation plan, specifying exactly who does what, which children are evacu- ated in which sequence, etc. Te plan should be in writing, reviewed and discussed with the child’s trainer and, if necessary, teachers or therapists. When transporting children who are medically fragile, some operations actually create student-specific evacuation plans. Each child on the bus is planned for separately in order to take into account the child’s very special needs and limitations. In the case of a student whose condition is medically complex, “talking” them through the drill is preferred over not including them at all. Inform the students ahead of time.

Students need to know at least a day ahead that a drill is scheduled, since it may affect their before-school activities, and some students will prefer to wear older clothes for the practice evacuation. Stand up. An effective bus drill can- not be conducted while a driver is sitting in the driver’s seat! If students cannot hear the driver, they will get the impres- sion that the drill isn’t that important. Introduce the drill. Begin the drill with a brief reminder of why drills are conducted — both to comply with state law, and more importantly, to prepare students for an emergency. Like the 45

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68