An event at the Governor’s Residence highlights school bus safety issues and recognizes winners of the state’s poster contest and safety competition.
PHILADELPHIA — The National Safety Council (NSC) recently presented Gary Catapano, FirstGroup America's (FGA) senior vice president of safety, with its 2011 Distinguished Service to Safety Award.
Officials said the award is the highest NSC honor given to an individual safety professional, and it recognizes outstanding service to the field of safety and health. Five individuals received the award.
Catapano was selected because of his work in the area of improving transportation on a national basis, officials said.
"I am pleased to accept this noble honor from the National Safety Council," Catapano said. "Safety is at the core of everything we do, and the safety and security of our passengers is a tremendous responsibility that we take very seriously. As an industry leader in transportation, FGA has been a pioneer when it comes to developing, designing and implementing safety training and technology, and I am proud to be a driving force in this effort."
Catapano has worked for nearly two decades as a transportation safety professional. In addition to serving as senior vice president of safety for FGA/First Student, Catapano chairs the FGA Safety Council, which provides a safety review function for all FGA divisions, including First Transit, First Services and Greyhound.
Catapano is the current chair of the NSC Transportation Safety Division and a member of its board of delegates. He is also a member of the National School Transportation Association, and he chairs its Safety and Security Committee.
Moreover, Catapano holds a CDL and is a defensive driving instructor and a New York state-certified school bus driver instructor. He is also an OSHA outreach trainer and has special training in incident analysis and collision investigation.
The Distinguished Service to Safety Award was presented at the opening session of NSC's Congress & Expo in the fall.
The company receives a score of 100% from Michigan State Police for its fleet of 25 buses that serve Royal Oak School District.
The New York School Bus Contractors Association holds a variety of school bus safety events throughout the state and renews its call for stiffer penalties for drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.
The company holds its 6th annual Anti-Bullying Awareness initiative, which runs throughout October, and inducts 15 new members into its Safety Wall of Fame.
Durham School Services has created “Rollin’ With Safety,” which gives students and parents school bus safety tips.
Suzanne Caldeira, who oversees safety operations at 19 First Student locations in New York, is named a 2016 Rising Star of Safety.
The mitigation trust fund can be used to support the replacementor repowering of diesel-powered vehicles, including school buses.
Jefferson Parish Public School System in New Orleans renews its contract with the school bus company for five more years. First Student will add more than 60 new buses over the course of the new contract.
Navistar Financial closes a two-year dealer floor plan transaction to support International Truck and IC Bus dealer inventory funding.
The contractor’s “Bully-Free Buses” campaign is led by Blue Shirt Day. Drivers, mechanics, and others wear blue shirts to show solidarity against bullying.
Wi-Fi for students and live on-vehicle video streaming are among the topics to be discussed in a free web seminar on Cisco’s Connected Transportation for Education.
Police in New Jersey say that the FedEx truck driver attempted to force the school bus off of the road as the bus driver tried to illegally pass him.
One of Wisconsin-based Dousman Transport’s bus terminals and about 34 school buses are destroyed. The terminal is being considered a crime scene, officials say.
School bus operations can request a free copy of the company’s new “Danger Zones” program, along with safety PSAs and a poster.
All school bus drivers and aides in the state have to go through the training program, which was mandated by a bill passed last year.