Special Needs Transportation

Special-Needs Students Safely Evacuated as School Bus Catches Fire

Thomas McMahon
Posted on September 10, 2018

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — A school bus team was honored for safely evacuating more than a dozen special-needs passengers when their bus caught on fire last month.

The incident took place on Aug. 23 in Port Charlotte, north of Fort Myers, on a Charlotte County Public Schools bus. According to NBC2, there were 14 special-needs students, ranging in age from 5 to 21, on board when fire broke out in the engine compartment.

School bus driver Vincent Adamo and an aide quickly took action. Adamo told Wink News that he “shut the bus down and we started getting all the kids off.”

Neighbors also stepped in to help. Anjelica Romero told Wink News that she called 911 and then, “I just had kids handed to me left and right and had a porch full of children. And before you know it, we had all the kids off the bus.”

No injuries were reported in the incident. At least one of the students was in a wheelchair, and that boy’s mother expressed her gratitude for the actions of the school bus team.

“They unstrapped him, they picked him up, and they carried him off that bus,” Lisa Alvarez told Wink News. “I’m so grateful.”

On Sept. 2, a celebration was held in Port Charlotte to recognize those who helped save the students from the school bus fire, Wink News reports. Charlotte County Commissioner Stephen Deutsch presented certificates of appreciation.

Adamo, the school bus driver, told Wink News that he was glad they were able to prevent a tragic outcome.

“They lost a couple of backpacks, but that can all be replaced,” Adamo told the news source. “All the kids got off in time. No smoke inhalation, no burns. Everybody got out safe.”

The cause of the school bus fire was under investigation.

Related Topics: aide/monitor, bus fires, evacuation drills, Florida, wheelchairs

Thomas McMahon Executive Editor
Comments ( 4 )
  • Edward Hortsch

     | about 13 days ago

    Very good work on everyone's part.

  • See all comments
More Stories
NAPT’s 2018 conference will be held in Kansas City, Missouri, in late October. Seen here is the 2017 conference in Columbus, Ohio.
News

NAPT Reveals 2018 Conference Agenda

Workshops will cover such topics as school choice, employee retention, and school shootings. A live-action event will demonstrate school bus fires and evacuations.

News

Kentucky District Adds 20 School Bus Monitors

Jefferson County Public Schools will assign the new monitors to buses that must stop at a depot during a route, or that transport a large number of students for long periods of time.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!