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09Oct2017

How will You Know that School Bus Fleet is ready to Handle Emergencies?

The worst fear of every parent is regarding their child’s safety. With the alarming incidents of child abuse and everyday mishaps, the concerns  become worrisome. To add fuel to the fire, there are several nuclear families, where the parents prefer to care their children almost independently. While the rise of nuclear families is not a popular issue, the effects are visible in the societal set up with increased transparency. 

In consideration to the growing number of vehicles on the street every day. Surely, there are numerous parents, hence resorting to sending kids by school buses. In fact, parents are likely to trust the school bus fleet than a private service  simply due to the trust that they had put in the administration/management of the schools.

Hence, the responsibility of a safer travel environment for the kids rests with the management in particular. While considering the safety, the first question that comes to your mind is whether they can handle emergencies. How one can assure this readiness is the prime question. A simple matrix might not work, but there are certain factors, which can be indicative of an excellent school bus fleet and its readiness to handle emergencies.

1. Crew aware of safety rules

Lack of Safety rules and regulations is one important area, where the management can step in and provide assistance. Regular refresher courses and safety training among the school bus staff can be of tremendous support in instilling confidence not only among the school bus crew, but also among the parents. A well-informed school bus driver might not likely violate the rules, if he knows the possible legal consequences. It’s not regarding the fear of violations, but the awareness of the responsibilities that would establish the school bus crew in a superior way. 

2. First aid box adequate

The next important rule of thumb about safety is the proper installation of a first aid box. The contents should be adequate and not expired. In several cases, the school bus staff fails to check the expiry dates of the medicines and other items in the first aid box, which can be completely useless in handling emergencies.

3. Children are taught the rules on safety

Awareness of traffic and safety rules among the children can help the bus staff to maintain the discipline and provide a safe ride without trouble. Bullying, ignoring the bus staff advice, shouting and loud singing, etc. can distract the driver and invite accidents. Ordinarily, schools that include the traffic and safety rules and regulations in their curriculum will be the first choice of parents. 

Children should also be taught on how to provide first aid and the need to keep calm and not panic in case of emergencies. They should also be taught how to exit from the bus in case of such emergencies through emergency windows or such safety measures. 

4. Security measures such as GPS in place

Technological advances such as GPS tracker and RFID tags when properly utilized will certainly enhance the confidence among the parents. Advanced fleet management systems can automatically send messages, emails or push notifications when the child boards the bus, alights from the bus, or when the bus crosses certain points on the route etc. 

If your school has provided such facilities to ensure the safety of children, parents are sure to vouch for you. RFID tags are embedded in the ID cards of the children in certain schools, which help them to track them individually also. When handling emergency situations, these fleet management systems can initiate SOS messages and help the legal authorities in tracking down the bus without wasting time. Sending a substitute bus for break down also becomes easier with such systems . 

5. Emergency contact numbers displayed

Does your school bus display the contact numbers of emergency clearly so that the immediate rescuers can inform the authorities? If so, then your fleet should be well-equipped to handle emergencies too. 

6. Fire exit in place and working 

Checking whether the emergency exit measures, seat belts, air bags, etc. are working properly once in a while can create a meaningful difference in case of emergencies. Doing so can help to boost the confidence of the bus crew as well as the parents. 

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