Streetsboro City Schools worked together with Streetsboro Fire Department to provide fire extinguisher training to all bus drivers and aides in the early hours of March 13, 2019. Transportation Interim Director Andreas Johansson had arranged for the training as part of a series aimed at better preparing the drive team for emergencies while in and around the school bus.

The safety preparedness training began a few months ago with sessions for the bus drivers on the ALICE protocol, and what that means on a school bus. The ALICE protocol, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate prepares staff members and students for multiple types of emergencies such as school shootings, lockdowns, etc. Fire related emergencies are no different, and seconds matter, especially on a school bus. Captain Kevin Grimm and Inspector Rick Owens from SFD provided the training at no cost as part of their outreach program.

“We practice so that we can perform. We practice to make better, to make perfect, to make routine excellence. We practice what we know will work. Getting kids off a school bus when seconds matter is why we check our safety gear every morning. It’s why we check our fire extinguishers, and it’s why we practice using them,” said Johansson, when asked why the need to practice at all. “Having a plan, and rehearsing it, is how operational excellence happens.”

Future training sessions for the bus drivers will include advanced driving and crash avoidance techniques, as well as more training with Streetsboro Police Department on how to keep the bus and its passengers safe in a crisis.