Every day during the school year, many parents and school officials entrust the lives of their children/students to the man or woman who is driving the bus to and from school. Under ideal conditions, school bus interaction can teach children the importance of keeping calm in a moving vehicle and gives our kids a chance to reflect on the day before and after school. And so parents and school officials allow people, who we assume to be highly trained professionals, to drive our children around during what can some of the busiest traffic of the day.
However, it's not the training that drivers are put through that has some parents and even school officials concerned, but instead the training they are NOT receiving.
With the influx of school bus accidents, many of which have been caused by other irresponsible drivers or inclement weather conditions, parents have become alarmed that drivers are not generally certified in areas such as CPR and first-aid or trained on how to use an EpiPen in case a child on the bus has an allergic reaction.
In fact, some student transportation companies' protocol is that their drivers not call 9-1-1 directly in case of an emergency. Instead, they are supposed to radio the problem into their dispatch, at which time the dispatch calls 9-1-1 while the driver waits at the scene for police and other such first responders to arrive. People who oppose this method site the fact that drivers are often dealing with mere seconds in the case of an emergency and the issue must be resolved as quickly as possible with as few calls as possible.
However, as far as CPR training goes, possibly even the most expert bus drivers do not feel it's necessary. One man who was interviewed has over forty years of experience and says that he can only recall two occasions where the use of CPR might have been used while bussing children to school.
Still, many parents just assume that something as simple as a CPR certification is already required for school bus drivers and some parents with children who have preexisting conditions are upset to hear that their kids' drivers are not trained in first-aid or CPR.
In many states, the CPR certification is not required, but drivers are told they should earn the certification if they see fit. This should not be a debate when we live in a society where at the changing of one second, or the quickening of making a left turn anything can happen.
It only takes one serious injury or death before parents and school officials are demanding school bus drivers be trained and certified in different safety procedures. So, the thinking here is: instead of waiting for something terrible to happen, why not just get it done now? Someday it may save a life.
Contact S.T.L. Emergency Skills Training at 1-888-491-1277 or to implement lifesaving training at your transportation company and be prepared.