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June 25, 2013  |   Comments (11)   |   Post a comment

Industry veteran Dick Fischer to retire

By Kelly Roher

Dick Fischer started his pupil transportation career in 1952 at the age of 17. He drove a school bus for the first time while in the U.S. Air Force.

Dick Fischer started his pupil transportation career in 1952 at the age of 17. He drove a school bus for the first time while in the U.S. Air Force.

PEYTON, Colo. — This summer will be the last of industry veteran Dick Fischer’s time on the road teaching his 40-hour driver trainer class: He will be retiring after nearly 61 years in pupil transportation.

Fischer told SBF in an interview that he will be 78 in August, so he feels it’s time for him to retire. He noted that he hasn’t been home for summer for the last 29 years, and he joked that next summer, he’s going to stay home and mow the lawn.

Fischer provides the “Train-the-Trainer” program through his consultancy company, Trans-Consult, which he founded in 1977. He is its owner and president.

Fischer got his start in the school bus industry 25 years prior to forming Trans-Consult. He first drove a school bus in Albuquerque, N.M., in 1952 at the age of 17 when he was in the U.S. Air Force. When he left the Air Force, he got a full-time job at Orange (Calif.) Unified School District, and he then moved to Centralia Elementary School District in Buena Park, Calif., two years later, where he ultimately became director of transportation.  

“We had a great team of people,” he said of the staff at Centralia Elementary. “We accomplished a lot of great things. That’s where School Bus Safety Week got started. And in 1960, we put seat belts in school buses, and we also put crossover mirrors on the buses.”

Other standout accomplishments in his career, Fischer said, are helping to form the California Association of School Transportation Officials, and speaking before the U.S. Congressional Transportation Committee regarding Federal School Bus Standard 17.

Fischer worked at ARA Transportation (which was acquired by Laidlaw) prior to starting Trans-Consult.

In his retirement, Fischer plans to travel with his wife — they often go on long cruises and road trips. He said he will also continue to distribute industry news through his “School Bus Safety” e-mail newsletter.  

“It’s been fun, and it doesn’t seem like 60 years,” Fischer said of his time in the industry. “I enjoyed getting up in the morning and seeing what we could accomplish. I’ll miss the professionals in this industry who want to do their job well.”

In 2002, SBF named Fischer one of its 25 Fascinating Industry Personalities. To read the profile, click here and scroll toward the bottom of the page.

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Read more about: California, Colorado, history, mirrors, seat belts

O my Dick what m i going to do now without you? I was just thinking of next year training. who will take over for you? All I can say is your the best in what you have done for all of us over the years. I look forward to you workshop and training classes. You will surely be miss,But I wish you and your the verry best in your retirement. if you never get out my way please stop in and see me at 150Juliustown rd. Browns Mills, N.J. Pemberton board of ed. Please let me know about the new person taking over. God Bless Sunday Pittman

Sunday Pittman    |    Jul 29, 2013 07:49 AM

I have enjoyed your School Bus Safety Newsletter for years and thank you for all of your time and dedication! Best wishes in all of your retirement plans!

Rich Eddington    |    Jul 23, 2013 08:05 AM

Dick - it has been an honor to be mentored by you. I took your class a couple of times just to make sure that I didn't miss anything and also because I simply wanted to spend more time learning from you - 160 hours was still not enough. I told you at class that I wanted your job when you retired - I guess I better step up my game and get ready now! Best wishes on your well deserved retirement and I hope that you and your wife enjoy yourself as you travel.

Don Todd    |    Jul 01, 2013 12:55 PM

Dick is a long time colleague and mentor. Five plus decades of continuous contributions to the school transportation industry is a standard all others will judged by. I am grateful to have met him early in my career and am pleased to count Dick among a small number of best friends.

Pete Baxter    |    Jun 27, 2013 03:20 PM

Dick-I wish the best in your retirement. I attended your classes and I can't say enough about you, you are a true proffessional and one awesome individual. Thank you for all the laughs and knowledge. I know you are the one that took my pig!! Good luck Dick!!

Robin Starrett    |    Jun 27, 2013 04:54 AM

Best of luck in your retirement. I wish you only the best.............

Bob Rubin    |    Jun 26, 2013 08:28 AM

Bob Rubin [email protected] Best of everything in your retirement. I'll miss you and all that you taughtme.

Anonymous    |    Jun 26, 2013 08:26 AM

Dick - I wish you the best in your retirement. You are the BEST! I really enjoyed attending all of your classes. You taught me sooooo much! I too am retiring - but only after 25 years - I'm not waiting - time to enjoy our families! Best wishes to you and your wife!

Debby    |    Jun 26, 2013 04:29 AM

Dick, It is good to hear what you have been up to. I enjoyed our time together at ARA and the many other times our paths crossed. If you ever get to Hawaii and want some great ice cream look me up!

John Edney    |    Jun 25, 2013 02:48 PM

Mr. Fischer is a legend in the school bus industry. We were very fortunate to have him be so active, for so many years. Dick Fischer truly epitomized a true dedication to our school bus industry with hopes of making school buses much safer. Job well done! Best wishes to you and Maggie now and in the future. :-)

Peter Lawrence    |    Jun 25, 2013 01:27 PM

Dick, you are a true professional. Most people in the industry will never know how much you've accomplished. I've very much enjoyed working with you the past 15 years because of your enthusiasm and drive; but most of all because of your sense of Humor! Enjoy your summers.

Jerry Ford    |    Jun 25, 2013 12:59 PM

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