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Evacuations for Special Needs bus. Christie Obershaw Moses Lake School District. PREPERATION.

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evacuations for special needs bus

Evacuations for Special Needs bus

Christie Obershaw

Moses Lake School District

preperation
PREPERATION
  • Careful planning for emergencies is essential when transporting children with special needs. No plan can cover every contingency. The most valuable asset in an emergency is professional judgment, common sense, and the ability to stay calm.
have a plan
HAVE A PLAN
  • A written evacuation plan should be created and practiced by drivers and aides on every special needs route. “Crossed wires” could be disastrous in an emergency. This plan must be revised when route changes occur, and not six weeks later. Substitute drivers should review plans before driving routes and get familiar with them.
slide4
Two basic scenarios should be considered: an engine fire and a breakdown in a dangerous area. It must be decided ahead of time who's responsibility it is to do what. Spell it out. Consider the students medical condition, communications skills, is there a walker, or wheelchair. Decide… in or out of chair. Determine the best sequence for evacuating the students
know your bus
KNOW YOUR BUS
  • School buses come in many different designs. Drivers, aids and substitute drivers must know the location of allemergency equipment and exits and how to use them. Drivers and aids should learn how to locate and open every exit with your eyes closed, using seat backs as reference.
slide6
Drivers and aids should know how to properly exit from all available exits, example, “sit and slide, not jump”. Should be aware of proper techniques from an over turned vehicle. ( do not step on glass, window post only..feet first: face down for roof hatches.
  • A seat belt cutter should be in easy reach of the seated driver, and know how to use it.
  • Drivers and aides should know the location of the fuel tank and batteries for the first responders to assess fire danger.
know your students
KNOW YOUR STUDENTS
  • Awareness of student’s abilities and disabilities can be extremely important in an emergency.
  • An accurate seating chart should be maintained on the bus to help account for students in an emergency
  • Drivers and aids should be informed of any physical, mental, emotional or medical conditions that could affect how students react in an emergency.
slide8
As much as possible, students with special needs should actively participate in evacuation drills. Actual practice is more, not less, important for students with special needs. Many students with disabilities can learn to unbuckle restraints, use the radio, use the emergency exits and even how to stop, shut off and secure the bus.
last resort
LAST RESORT
  • Due to the very nature of students you transport, evacuation should be your very last resort.
  • For instance, can the bus be safely moved in an emergency?
don t hesitate
DON’T HESITATE
  • Buses can burn quickly in some conditions. If a fire is suspected, evacuation should begin immediately.
  • Drivers should never leave the students alone on board to investigate or fight a small fire.
  • Extinguishing a fire is best left to the professional. A school bus can be replaced, students can not!
determining the best exit
DETERMINING THE BEST EXIT
  • Evacuation should always proceed away from the source of danger, and not all exits may be useable.
  • Students should not be directed to an exit until the driver knows its functioning and safe.
bystanders can help
BYSTANDERS CAN HELP
  • Not all special needs buses have a driver and aide on them. Help may be needed to get the students off in time. Bystanders are a good choice in an emergency
  • Bystanders must be monitored and told exactly what to do
evacuating students
EVACUATING STUDENTS
  • Reassure students. Before an evacuation begins, students should be calmly told what will happen.
  • Release seat belts or securement straps, cutting securement straps is generally faster than unbuckling them.
slide14
Removing students from their wheelchairs is usually faster than unhooking the chair from it’s securement, but some medically fragile students cannot be safely removed from their chair.
  • It is generally safer to evacuate students in their safety seats. With practice, it is possible to carry two safety chairs at once. Leaving students in the safety seats also keeps them from wandering off.
slide15
It may be necessary to use some form of “Fireman’s Drag” to evacuate heavier students. Lower them to floor on their backs, head pointed towards the exit, grasping them under the armpits, drag to exit.
  • Lower students to the ground. Drivers and aides must work as a team. If using the assistance of a bystander, be sure your instructions are clear, using great care with medically fragile students.
slide16
Move students to a safe and secure location.
  • Once all the students are off the bus, they should be moved to a safe location at least three bus lengths away.
  • NEVER leave the students unsupervised
  • If possible , retrieve the wheelchair. It’s important to the student’s well being.
students come first
STUDENTS COME FIRST
  • A school bus drivers (or aide’s) first and primary responsibility is to the students on the bus
  • The Ten responsibilities. Every crash is unique, but drivers need to remember the following responsibilities:
1 stop
1. STOP
  • Even in a minor collision, the bus shouldn’t be moved until authorities arrive unless absolutely necessary. This includes non-collision incidents, such as an on board injury to a student such as a fall.
2 assess the situation
2. ASSESS THE SITUATION
  • Before reporting the collision by radio, drivers need to calmly assess the situation.
  • Are there injuries?
  • What is your exact location?
  • Must students be evacuated.
3 reassure the students
3. REASSURE THE STUDENTS
  • In any emergency, adults should reassure the students that everything is “OK’ – even if the adults aren’t sure it is.
4 contact base
4. CONTACT BASE
  • A calm voice radio voice in an emergency is one sign of a professional. If base does not answer initial call, drivers should repeat the basic message, give bus or route number every time.
  • Unnecessary information should never be given over the radio
5 protect the scene
5. PROTECT THE SCENE
  • 4-way flashers should be activated at once. Drivers can ask bystanders to assist by placing warning devices and directing traffic.
  • Place all warning devices according to the prescribed standards, far enough away to protect the bus
6 make the evacuation decision
6. MAKE THE EVACUATION DECISION
  • In most cases, students will safer inside the bus after a collision.
  • Evacuation is hazardous and should never be undertaken lightly. But if there is danger of fire, a second collision, or a roll over, evacuation must begin at once.
  • Never leave students unsupervised
7 initiate first aid
7. INITIATE FIRST AID
  • Until help arrives, life saving first aid measures should be undertaken.
  • Injured students should never be moved unless necessary.
  • Driver shouldn’t exceed the limits of their training
8 account for students
8. ACCOUNT FOR STUDENTS
  • The student roster should be checked to confirm exactly which students were on the bus.
  • Uninjured students should not be released until authorities arrive.
9 cooperate with authorities
9. COOPERATE WITH AUTHORITIES
  • Emergency personnel need to know exactly how many students were on board and if the have special conditions.
  • As rescuers arrive, they will take over. Driver and aide must let them do their job.
10 don t argue
10. DON’T ARGUE
  • Drivers and aides shouldn’t argue with the other motorist or discuss the incident with anyone other than police or their supervisor.
  • Statements at the crash scene may be admissible in court
  • If approached, you should remain professional and tell them to talk to your supervisors.