Emergency Handling especially in case of kids is the top most priority for everyone. In case of school buses, the schools should train the drivers and helpers to act first and thus enhance the safety of kids.
While all the school bus must be equipped with a first aid box, the drivers should also be trained for handling emergencies and enabling school bus safety.
Here are few tips for it-
1. Training in First Aid – The drivers in the school bus are mostly in talks with the passengers. Most of them know the personal history of children. Giving them basic training on how to handle emergency in case of any issue how to provide first aid can really help. This might prove life-saving. This training can help them know when to evacuate the bus or even avoid situation improving school bus safety.
The drivers must also have all the emergency contact numbers with them.
2. Awareness – It is important to know where and when to vacate the school bus. While driving on a busy road, or on a blind curve, it is better to get the bus evacuated. Schools must provide guidelines and procedures on how to do it.
When shall the evacuation happen-?
1. Fire – In case of fire, smoke and poisonous gases will spread very fast.
2. Fuel Leakage – In case there is a leakage in fuel pipe, this may ignite fire and hence very dangerous.
A driver must be aware from where to make the exit. For instance, in case of the above examples the exit must be from the farthest point from the place of occurrence.
Suppose the air pressurized doors and windows get jammed due to a threat, the driver must ensure that there is no panicky and should be able to help the students till the emergency help arrives. The driver should be the best person to take a call in case of situations apart from mentioned above about the safety of the passengers.
3. Student Information – There should be a list of students containing information about the name, address, emergency contact number, a detailed physical description of the student. This may help to identify the students who are unconscious during the state of emergency.the name list should be placed near to the driver's seat so that emergency responders can fast account for the passengers.
4. GPS Tracker – Apart from driver's training it is also important that the bus must contain GPS tracking system which is accessible not only to the school but also to the students' guardians. The school bus tracker app can prove of great help.
Schools are advised to arrange for an interpreter in case there are language difference in students and
What Schools can do to ensure school bus safety-
1. Formulate protocols and guidelines for interviewing the new driver
2. Giving safety awareness, comprehensive training, and emergency handling drills to the drivers
3. Enabling a GPS tracking system in the bus. This can help schools to get the complete information about the position of the school bus.
4. Developing a GPS tracking app for the parents. With this App the parents can track the position of the bus, driver details, vehicle details, time for arrival at destination etc.
5. Conducting assessments for security and safety for the associated transport facilities.
6. Maintaining a database for all the students using school bus and transport with complete details of emergency contact numbers.
7. Having a first aid kit in the bus and giving training to the driver on its use
8. Having Emergency help on a call facility for all the school bus.
9. Arranging for clear communication between parents and the drivers. Also, schools should furnish the driver contact details to the parents.
These and other practices can help school bus drivers and school transportation staff become better prepared for safer travel.