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 ( 5 )
  • R label

     | about 2 years ago

    Could 5 wheelchair students, some up to age of 26 plus 7 mobile but quite handicapped be evacuated off a burning bus in 2 minutes time? I don’t think so, so tell me again how we don’t knowingly wait for the tragedy to happen?

  • See all comments
More Stories
The NCST’s Steering Committee and writing committees are preparing for the 2020 Congress. Murrell Martin (shown left) and Bill Loshbough are shown here leading a discussion at NCST 2015.
News

NCST Gears Up for 2020

The National Congress on School Transportation Steering Committee firms up plans and writing committees are researching requests for procedures manual changes. The Congress will meet in Des Moines, Iowa, in May.

Greenville County (S.C.) Schools aide Linda (shown left) and bus driver Carlos spotted a boy who had gone missing the night before and brought him to safety. Photo courtesy Greenville County Schools
News

School Bus Driver, Aide Locate Missing Boy

Bus driver Carlos and aide Linda of South Carolina are driving on their morning route when they spot a boy who had gone missing the night before. They convince him to board the bus and take him to safety.

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!