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Bridging Knowledg


Districts and local first responders


team up to conduct drills that identify challenges,


uncover training opportunities and hasten response times in working a true school bus emergency


Written by Debbie Curtis


experiences that give everyone the opportunity to familiarize themselves around the circumstances of incidents involving school buses. Unique situations might include responding to multiple casualties, the


W 30 School Transportation News • MAY 2020


challenge of making the scene safe for rescue personnel, calming students with disabilities and special needs, and maintaining order at the scene amid the gathering of onlookers, parents and news media. Meanwhile, the status quo of overseeing regular routes might have to be maintained back at dispatch. Training for terrorist threats and active shooters are also becoming more prevalent in today’s school environments. To help bring more information together in one place, the federal gov- ernment launched SchoolSafety.gov in February. The website provides numerous resources for parents, schools and law enforcement to help prepare for various threats. Not surprisingly, the threat to school buses is very real, considering the


vehicles represent the largest transportation fleet in the country. The Trans- portation Security Administration (TSA) is part of the effort to educate local school district transportation departments. TSA experts Ryan Thomas and


hile school safety officers and transportation personnel are trained to respond to school bus crashes, it’s highly likely that local first responder personnel haven’t been on a school bus in years. Around the country, districts are organizing training


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