Ohio School Bus Drivers Train for Emergencies

Ohio School Bus Drivers Train for Emergencies

Bus drivers for Fairborn City Schools spent Friday with SWAT trainers to learn how to protect students from potential threats while driving.

Bus drivers for Fairborn City Schools spent Friday learning how to protect students from potential threats while driving. The training was given by representatives from the North American SWAT Training Association (NASTA).

Trainers noted that drivers are often given sole responsibility over dozens of students and could face threats while on the road. In contrast, teachers and administrators typically have a school full of other staff that can help them in an emergency situation.

“We talk about the bus drivers and the unique situation they have as far as safety,” said James Scanlon, co-owner of NASTA. “It’s a little different than the educators in our schools. They have the kids alone. They have a route that they have to go on.”

Campuses offer multiple training opportunities for staff, faculty and students to learn how to stay safe, but bus drivers are often overlooked, Scanlon said.

“We spent several months coming up with a program that would address specific needs in buses,” Scanlon said.

Bus drivers learned how to handle dangerous situations they might encounter during their daily routes.

“I just hope to be better prepared. I think being better prepared in any situation and having the knowledge of what to do, if something were to happen,” bus driver Hazel Everettes said.

Bus driver Judy Bowman said angry parents have boarded her bus and threatened her and the students riding.

“It does make you feel you have to protect those kids,” Bowman said. “You do go into mother instinct because they’re your kids once they’re on your bus.”

NASTA training goes over situations bus drivers have experienced and teaches them how to handle potential threats.

According to Scanlon, crimes, terrorist threats and non-custodial parents are situations most often seen by bus drivers. The training offers tactics to address specific situations; for example, “situational awareness that can help them identify a problem before they pull up on it,” Scanlon said.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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