Preventing all disastrous school bus accidents is impossible, but being ready to react when one occurs is extremely important. Practicing your operation’s response to an emergency situation will help you learn to interact with authorities and other members of the community more smoothly.
The Ridgeland (Miss.) Fire Department recently designed a training exercise in which a school bus, three cars and a tanker truck were involved in a simulated accident. The bus was provided by Madison County Schools and drama students at Madison Central High School played accident victims.
The fire department, school district, the media and other emergency agencies participated in the drill, which uncovered several areas needing improvement in the event of a real disaster. The entire exercise was observed and evaluated by a consultant who specializes in emergency preparation.
Jackson Local Schools in Massillon, Ohio, conducted a similar drill, in which it donated three out-of-service school buses to the local fire department to be used in the effort. School district officials say it was a good way to get some use out of old buses while helping the district and community work together.