MyView is designed to provide parents and caregivers details and real-time location information for their children’s school buses. The app’s dispatcher portal can also help school districts manage general school bus communications.
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — First Light Safety Products is donating a total of 90,000 disposable masks to the school transportation industry, 50,000 of which it is distributing through the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS).
Cam Quan, director of sales, marketing, and customer relations for First Light, told School Bus Fleet that the supplier, which is a member of the NASDPTS Supplier Council, is procuring the masks through its parent company, Smartrend Manufacturing Group.
In an email to NASDPTS members, Executive Director Charlie Hood said that First Light contacted the association to get assistance in notifying states, and the NASDPTS board of directors approved participation in the program. The association is deferring to each state director to determine the best and most equitable method for making the masks available to schools and districts within their state if they choose to participate in the voluntary program.
The number of masks allocated to each state will be based on its total number of school buses, rounded to the nearest 10, according to a flyer from First Light detailing the program. For example, Texas, which has nearly 47,576 school buses, will receive 4,920 masks. (The total numbers of school buses per state was sourced from SBF’s U.S. State by State Transportation Statistics for the 2017-18 school year.) The minimum quantity of masks per school is 100, and the maximum quantity is 500.
The recipients of the masks, whether state departments of education or school districts, will be responsible for the shipping cost, but First Light personnel will package and send the shipments.
First Light is collecting names of state directors who would like to receive masks to distribute among the districts in their state and plans to begin shipping them out this week.
“With over one million positive cases in North America, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm. Our heroes in the school bus industry have pivoted through this crisis, with selflessness and courage for our students,” the supplier said in a LinkedIn post announcing the program. “We thank you for all you have done, continue to do, and will do in the future. We are all in this together, and our industry will come out strong because of every one of you!”
First Light will run the program until July 30, 2020. If masks for each state have not been distributed by that date, the remaining masks will be redistributed to other states. If there are any masks that have still not been redistributed by September 30, 2020, First Light will redistribute them through other channels.
“We greatly appreciate this charitable gesture from one of our Supplier Council member companies during this time of need,” Hood said in the email.
“When First Light Safety Products contacted us to request assistance with their face masks donation program, we were happy to jump in,” Michael LaRocco, president of NASDPTS and the director of transportation for the Indiana Department of Education, told SBF. “During these difficult times, companies and individuals are showing a generosity of spirit that is encouraging. Having more access to personal protective equipment for school bus drivers and other professionals who are still out in the field helping provide meals and other services is critical to their own health. First Light’s donation program is greatly appreciated by state directors and the local school districts and contractors we all support.”
First Light Safety Products’ School PPE Purchase Program aims to provide a guaranteed supply of the masks at below-market prices, after demand outpaced its recent donation of 90,000 masks.
The products are intended to help curb the spread of germs on public and commercial transportation vehicles.
The paper details the reasons for the association’s support for seat belts, common objections to adding them to school buses, and guidance on making the decision to require lap-shoulder belts in new buses.
Conducted by School Bus Fleet, findings include adjusting personnel duties, some downsizing due to school closures, and significantly boosted cleaning routines. Respondents anticipate major routing changes as schools reopen.
Crucial practices include educating and negotiating with districts to continue compensation while buses aren’t running, following safety procedures consistently, and keeping abreast of loan and legal resources, experts say.
The recommendations include seating one student every other row, increased cleaning and disinfecting of buses, and drivers wearing cloth masks.
The supplier’s EVIR solution has a new electronically verifiable configuration designed to help ensure that each step in the cleaning and disinfecting process takes place before and after every trip.
School Bus Fleet’s recent webinar, “Getting Paid, Staying Afloat: How Contractors Can Cope With the COVID Shutdown” is now available online.
The Student Transportation Aligned for Return To School (STARTS) Task Force will be a collaboration among NASDPTS, NAPT, and the NSTA, to research, review, and report on matters relating to COVID-19.
Sonny Merryman Inc. of Evington, Va., is named the 2019 Dealer of the Year, the sixth win for its team since the awards were established in 1986.
The specialty vehicle brand manufacturer sells its Michigan- and Kansas-based shuttle manufacturing businesses, and “doubles down” on producing school buses and MFSABs.
Willow Creek School District J1517 opens its doors and offers bus service following the governor’s announcement that schools would be allowed to reopen and most parents saying they would like in-person learning to resume.
The webinar “Vehicle Collision with Student Pedestrians Crossing High-speed Roadway to Board School Bus — Rochester, Indiana,” will be held on May 13 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Newer features include higher-resolution camera systems, cloud storage for real-time access to data, video integration with stop arms and pre- and post-trip inspection tools, and a 360-degree view.
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