ge Gaps

A school bus training exercise was scheduled for April at the Glenwood Community Schools in Iowa, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak the event had to be postponed. Director of Op- erations Frank Bachman spent months organizing first responders in his community to respond to an exercise involving a school bus rollover. He told School Transportation News that he hopes to reschedule the event for the fall or next year. High school students were supposed

to be actors in a scene that depicted a teenaged drunk driver colliding with a school bus. Police officers were to respond, administer a sobriety test and arrest the driver. Bachman explained that the plan is

An emergency exercise conducted by Catoosa County Public Schools in Georgia.

Bruce McClary put on a workshop in conjunction with the Gulf Coast Pupil Transportation Association’s Industry Day on Feb. 20, in Cypress, Texas. About 60 transportation professionals received First Observer Plus training, which provides tools to help drivers recognize suspicious activity, possibly relating to terrorism, on the road and report it to law enforcement for further investigation. The training familiarized school bus drivers in attendance with many free U.S. Department of Homeland Security resources. The work- shop included a hands-on exercise as to what to look for when conducting pre- and post-trip school bus inspections, such as noticing an out-of-place or unfamiliar backpack or package. Colorado has been a big consumer of the TSA training. It is also

now in the process of passing a bipartisan bill, the Smart School Bus Safety Pilot Program. Working to make schools safer are Susan Miller, the state director of pupil transportation at the state depart- ment of education, Sen. Don Coram, and Ward Leber, the founder of the Child Safety Network (CSN). If successful, a law would spread $6 million over three years for advanced technology that provides for improved connectivity to first responders, a parental notification campaign, school bus driver training, and recruiting of new driver applicants.

to gather the students in the audito- rium to hear the driver call dispatch and the report a reckless driver. They also hear the crash take place. “Then, everyone comes outside to the scene. We have injured students in the bus, in the car, and a fatality. A friend of mine is an auctioneer, who has a truck with a [public address] system, and everyone could hear all of the communications.” He added that one of the school bus

drivers with movie production experi- ence will edit footage shot by drones, first responder body cameras and Go Pro action cameras into a training video. After observing how responders

work the crash scene, Bachman said students will be ushered back inside, where a spotlight will illuminate a casket on the stage, to simulate the funeral of one of the teenage victims. A eulogy will be read by the parents, and an Iowa state trooper, who spe- cializes in public safety, will discuss the consequences of distracted driving and driving while intoxicated. “I’m a parent. I was a teacher. I hope this provides a training tool for years to come, and it serves as a real wake-up call to the students,” Bachman shared. 31

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