Bus drivers from 7 counties get important back-to-school training in Boardman

Local News

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Kids are going to be heading back to school soon, which means the people who get them there need to be ready.

School buses flipped on their sides and filled with smoke — these are just some of the scenarios local bus drivers learned about Tuesday.

“Whether it’s an emergency situation or an everyday situation, this training provides all of these drivers with the pinnacle needs to serve their students,” said Ryan Dunn, Boardman Schools’ director of transportation.

They were getting prepared in case one of these problem happens to them.

It’s an issue no bus driver wants to be put in.

“This is some very intense training,” said Kristina Manis, a bus driver for Boardman Schools.

Hundreds of bus drivers, aides, mechanics and supervisors from seven counties prepared for incidents like a bus flipped on its side, first aid, burn victim training and what to do after the bus is filled with smoke.

The Boardman Fire Department was also there to help.

“Within 20 seconds, the back third of the bus was full of smoke. It’s going to be rapid. It’s going to happen quickly,” said Boardman Fire Chief Mark Pitzer.

Walking through the bus pushed on its side — it’s a tight space, making it difficult to move while exiting out the emergency door in the back.

It’s also important to know how the bus works from the inside.

“Mostly, like, the location of the engine parts. ‘Cause in a transit bus, you really can’t see them, but you have to know where they are,” said Tom Harris, another bus driver for Boardman Schools.

Many drivers have had to learn this when they recertify.

Multiple school districts met at Boardman High School Tuesday. As schools get ready to open their doors in the fall, these drivers need to be prepared in case of something going wrong.

“Not just for the safety of the students but the safety of ourselves also,” Manis said.

The training was about four hours long, and while a lot of information might be getting thrown at them, it’s important to know before they pick up students for school.

“You know, we will be able to keep our students safe, ourselves safe and get the kids off the bus,” Manis said, “and do what’s necessary to keep everyone safe.”

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