Student transportation provider Durham School Services has donated a school bus to the Gordon Heights Fire Department in New York to conduct critical extrication safety drills. The drills took place earlier this month over a span of two days and also featured extrication tool demonstrations from a certified Hurst - Jaws of Life tool instructor. The fire department is led by Chief Moonee Rivers, the first female fire chief in the history of the fire department.
During the two-day drill training, the donated school bus was used to demonstrate the use of extrication tools, such as a spreader, cutter, power jack lifts, and more. Team members learned about the usage of these tools firsthand from a certified instructor and also had the opportunity to perform drills with the devices.
The donation to the Gordon Heights Fire Department was made as part of Durham School Services’ company-wide Partners Beyond the Bus community outreach program and is one of several that have been donated this year to local fire departments in New York state. These bus donations also help to repurpose retired, non-electric vehicles from DSS’ fleets, which further contributes to DSS’ transition to alternative fuel-powered and zero-emission buses. Durham School Services plans on transitioning to an all zero-emission fleet by 2035.
“Giving back to our communities is a social responsibility our team and company feel very strongly about and is a value that is deeply embedded into our company culture,” said Brookhaven General Manager Sean Martin. “Donating buses is one of the many ways we can give back to our communities. It also allows us to repurpose our buses and reduce potential waste while decreasing our energy footprint. We are glad that our retired buses can be put to good use by others, especially when it relates to the safety of students. It is our pleasure to provide this vehicle for the benefit of the students, community, and environment.”
“As the very first female chief in the history of the Gordon Heights Fire Department, I am excited to build new community partnerships such as this one with Durham School Services,” said Chief Moonee Rivers. “This donation played an important role in further developing our team’s knowledge and firsthand experience in responding more efficiently to school bus incidents. We were also able to learn different extrication techniques and update our standard operating procedures. Instances like this truly represent just how important it is to have strong community partnerships – especially with a safety-focused partner like Durham School Services.”