Oregon law requires school bus evacuation

drills be held twice a year that teach students what to do in case of emergencies. “It is mandated by (state) statute that each child that regularly rides the bus must have instruction on emergency procedures, which include how to ride the bus safely, how to operate each of the emergency exits on the bus, and how to secure the bus in case the driver becomes incapacitated,” said Ellison. “The Oregon Department of Education mandates that those students who do not ride the bus have the same training within the first six weeks of school because they may ride a bus on field trips and to sporting events.” He added that drills are not being held other than evacuations because the district is updating its reunification sites, or those locations where stu- dents meet so staff can get accurate headcounts. “We have found that some of our reunification sites are no longer valid because the buildings have been closed or torn down,” Ellison said. “We are rewriting our reunification plan to update the sites that are available, in case the unthinkable happens. When we get the sites identified, it might require intergov- ernmental agreements. Once those are executed, the plan is we’ll practice those as well.” Ellison continued, “One of the things I am ada-

mant about is if we have 122 buses ready to go, I want a police escort to the affected school. Time is of the essence, so I don’t want to worry about traf- fic jams or traffic lights. The police department has agreed to that in principle, but it will depend on the incident. Officers may be needed elsewhere.” Evers advised that whenever possible, preven-

tion can minimize the overall response and ease recovery efforts. “One of the benefits of prevention in the planning cycle is it, along with mitigation, can often take the form of education,” she said. “This helps empower and create a more resilient and proactive community.” Evers said part of emergency planning in Spo- kane is “all hazards planning” where the most likely hazards that threaten a community are identified. “The all-hazards approach allows us to assess risk, prioritize resources, provide education in an effort to prepare and hopefully mitigate threats based on the likelihood of an occurrence and its impact on the local area.” ●


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• Review routing system, system utilization; map quality, student/stop data; runs/routes/trips data; and tiering

CURRENT BELL SCHEDULE ASSESSMENT • Review and assess bell schedule, length of school day, school tier set-up, and available operating time by tier

EFFICIENCY REVIEW • Identify potential for route reduction by conducting a route tier gap analysis, and a time and capacity analysis

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