Howell Public Schools and Howell Area Fire Department Partner On Critical Evacuation Training
On Wednesday, Aug. 24, Howell Public Schools and the Howell Area Fire
Department held a joint critical evacuation training involving a bus
that had flipped on its side. For the training, a decommissioned school
bus was placed on its side at the Howell bus yard.
Bus drivers and
transportation employees entered the bus to experience what it would be
like if their bus was to be involved in an accident. The bus drivers
also acted as accident victims during the fire department’s training
exercise. For their training exercise, the Howell Area Fire Department
worked to gain access to the bus and evacuate injured passengers using
the emergency exits as well as gaining access through the windshield and
roof of the bus. Firefighters also set up a triage area and assessed
each victim’s injuries.
“Each day our highly skilled bus drivers
transport thousands of students to and from school. Parents place their
trust in us to ensure that students arrive at school and return home
safely,” said Erin MacGregor, Howell Public Schools superintendent.
“This training provided our drivers with a unique opportunity to observe
and interact with first responders to learn how a situation like this
would be handled should one ever occur.”
“We do not get these
types of opportunities often, so this is huge for us. I mean, in my 35
years of doing this, this is only the second time that we have had
access to a bus. Just that alone is huge. The hands-on experience is
invaluable,” said Andrew Pless, Howell Area Fire Department fire chief.
“I guarantee that if this happened tomorrow, we would have these people
out of here in 20 minutes instead of 50, just because we trained.”
the start of a new school year around the corner, motorists should be
on the look out for school buses. If a school bus has its yellow
overhead lights flashing, motorists should prepare to stop and should
stop at least 20 feet away from a bus when its red lights are flashing.
Motorists should also observe all speed limits, especially in school
zones and in residential areas. Following these laws, will help avoid a
potentially, serious accident, such as the one simulated in the critical