A new online course from securement equipment supplier Q’Straint teaches transportation personnel how to properly secure passengers who use wheelchairs.
The course, titled “Securement 101: Basic Wheelchair Securement Training,” is composed of four lessons: safety and liability, securement equipment operation, securing the wheelchair, and securing the occupant. The lessons include interactive slides, videos, and quizzes, with a score of 75% or higher required to pass. Participants who complete the course get a certificate from Q’Straint that is valid for two years.
The program is geared toward new hires, and it can be used as refresher training for more experienced school bus drivers, attendants, and other staff members. Supervisors can track each participant’s progress and see if they need more attention in any area.
Darren Reaume, national training manager for Q’Straint and Sure-Lok, said in an interview that the company’s goal in developing the online course was “to have a more on-demand and more interactive learning component” for wheelchair securement, which is an area with no room for error.
“Transporting one student in a wheelchair carries with it as much or more liability as all other students a district transports combined,” Reaume said. “We realized we have a product that works well, but there’s a real need for training, and we want to serve as many people as possible.”
As the title indicates, “Securement 101” is a basic-level course. Q’Straint has also been developing a more advanced online class — “Securement 102: Securing Difficult Mobility Devices for School Transportation” — which is expected to become available this summer. Reaume said that the 102 course covers problem-solving approaches for mobility devices that fall outside of the common types of wheelchairs that are transported on school buses.
“In our minds, it’s more of a higher-level course that transportation directors or safety trainers would take. … It certainly could be for drivers, too,” Reaume said.
The new online courses join a variety of other educational options that Q’Straint offers under the "Training Aqademy" banner. Those include the annual National Training Seminar at the company’s facility in Oakland Park, Florida; free monthly webinars; a school bus training week in August with twice-daily webinars; and on-site training at school districts’ and contractors’ own facilities.
Reaume said that the company has limited availability for providing in-person instruction, which is where the advantage of the new online courses comes into play.
“We’d rather train people more efficiently online than fly out to different places and do on-site training,” he said.
The “Securement 101” online course is expected to take participants about 75 minutes to complete, and it can be done in increments, with progress saved along the way. The cost is $49.99 per person, or $24.99 per person for bulk purchases of at least 20 registrations, which can be used when needed.
“Those don’t go away. If you only need 15 now, you can use the others later,” Reaume explained.
For more details and to register for the online courses, go here.