Many parts of the U.S. are experiencing a "deep freeze" this week with unforgiving weather conditions and extreme cold temperatures, and pupil transportation staff are working to ensure the efficiency of their operations.
In Holland, Ohio, Springfield Local Schools began conducting bus inspections on Friday to prepare for the frigid temperatures, according to WTOL.
Ron Smith, the director of transportation for Springfield Local Schools, told the news source that during the winter months the district connects its buses up to block heaters to help start up the engines. Despite not having any issues starting up buses this year, Smith added that in the past buses have failed to start due to faulty batteries or because they were older bus models.
Paducah Independent School District in Kentucky is also using block heaters to warm the school bus engines, WPSD reports. Steven Spraggs, the transportation director for the district, told the news source on Monday that the department’s mechanics will also start buses a few minutes earlier over the next few days.
In Wildwood, Missouri, Rockwood and Parkway School Districts are conducting similar efforts. Mike Heyman, the transportation director for Rockwood School District, told Fox 2 Now on Tuesday that the district’s Cold Start Team arrived early to start, monitor, defrost, and de-ice all of the district's buses. Heyman added that the mirrors and windshields on each bus were cleared and the interior was made comfortable and warm for students.
Meanwhile, Winneconne Community School District in Wisconsin was forced to close schools on Friday as some buses stopped running due to the frigid temperatures. Doug Falk, the owner of Falk Buses, (the company which the district contracts their buses with), told WLUK that the low temperatures caused the diesel fuel to gel, which can clog fuel filters and cause problems for the buses’ engines. To prevent future school closures, Falk added that he is changing the fuel filters on all of the buses and is adding fuel additives.
As of Monday, Winneconne Community School District remained closed, according to a post on the district’s Facebook page.