District Bus Evacuation Drills

District Bus Evacuation Drills
Posted on 09/19/2017
Bus Evacuation Drills

Annually, the Spencer Community Schools Transportation Department conducts school bus evacuation drills with all students in the district. Bus drivers complete age appropriate demonstrations at each school, and school bus driver, Diane Feezor shared, “At the elementary level we talk about the rules and how to be safe on the bus.  At the high school level, we don’t talk so much about the rules, but we go more into things like computers and cell phones, the things you need to keep behind the seat so that they are not glaring in the driver’s face.  We also talk about stop arm violations.”

Catching Diane while she conducted a drill with middle school students, she started by talking about safety outside of the bus.  Having marked an area with cones, which she referred to as the danger zone, Diane told students not to enter the coned off areas due to lack of visibility of the bus driver.  She also reminded students not to go under the bus for cell phones or other items that might get dropped.

The students then boarded the bus, found a seat and began discussing the different reasons why an emergency evacuation might be necessary.  Sliding into a ditch, if the bus were to catch on fire, a tornado or other bad weather and getting stalled on a railroad track, were discussed, and then Diane pointed out the eight emergency exits, demonstrating how to open them.  While showing the students the fire extinguisher and how to use it, Diane encouraged the students to exit the bus immediately in the event of a fire, rather than worrying about finding the extinguisher.  Use of the two-way radio was demonstrated and students were encouraged to use it if help was needed because someone would be on the other end to get help, including the police department or a dispatcher, and staff at central office.

In addition to discussing best practices during an emergency with the middle schoolers, Diane talked about stop arm violations, and reminded students that when they see a bus with the yellow and red lights flashing, they must stop.  With school only in its third week, Diane stated that there have already been 11 violations, and two were mopeds.  The rules apply to cars and mopeds, and if violated, it means a loss of license until the age of 18, including a moped license, a $600 fine and high cost insurance.  “You need to understand that when you are on the road, whether driving a moped or a car, you need to follow all the rules of the road,” said Diane.

The evacuation practice ended with a demonstration of how to open the back door of the bus, and students practiced properly exiting prior to heading back to class.