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07-19-12: Students to practice bus evacuations this year
07-19-12: Students to practice bus evacuations this year

Knowing how to evacuate a school bus safely in an emergency is a lesson presented to students three times a year as part of the school district’s emergency exit drills.

This year, students who ride the bus will do more than simply hear their bus driver explain the process — they will actually practice how to exit through the rear or side emergency door.

“This will empower the drivers and students with the skills needed to evacuate in the event of an actual emergency and provide them an opportunity to work as a team,” said Director of Transportation Cathy McDaniel.

Having students practice the physical evacuation of a school bus is consistent with what is required by state law, she said.

Emergency bus evacuation drills are held in fall, winter, and spring. Students practice exiting the bus in fall, hear a verbal review in winter, and practice again in spring.

The annual drills also teach students a variety of other safety measures, such as how to respond if a driver becomes incapacitated, how to set the emergency brake, how to radio the Transportation department for help, and how to access equipment such as the first-aid kit.

Students may be excused or excluded from the evacuation drills if their participation poses substantial difficulty to themselves or to other passengers. Those who do not physically participate will continue to receive verbal instruction in school bus safety and exit drills.