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FISD Conducts Bus Evacuation Drills(September, 2008)

Ashley students practise bus evacuationHurricanes Gustav and Ike served as timely reminders that schools must be prepared for emergency situations. The Frisco ISD Transportation Department has spent several weeks working with school administrators to prepare students in case of the need for bus evacuation.

These evacuation drills are mandated by the state, according to Karen Sadler, FISD Director of Transportation.  “In compliance with House Bill Number 3190, Section 340021, Frisco ISD will be conducting emergency school bus evacuation training at every campus twice a year, with one training session occurring in the fall and one training session in the spring. A portion of the training session will occur on a school bus and last for at least one hour.” she said.

Every student and all FISD campus staff had to practice correct bus evacuation.  District bus employees discussed the locations of all the exits, including, to the elementary students’ amazement, the roof exit.  Students were told where different emergency items could be found, such as a medical kit, the emergency break, and the switch to open the front doors if the power is out.

Michelle Mayo, Ashley Elementary Librarian, reports that Ashley students were full of questions for the drivers.  During a rear bus evacuation, passengers exit from the front of the bus first and work their way back.  The drivers explained that if the rear exit is in use, the front of the bus would need to get away from the danger in front.  As the students exited out the back of the buses students were shown how to sit down completely before sliding to the ground.  Students also practiced a front door exit, evacuating from the back of the bus forward.

Students throughout the district prepared for worst-case scenarios.  Even though all students may not ride to school or home on buses, students still ride buses during school field trips.  Bus drivers helped prepare the students so they would know what to do if an emergency does occur.

“Conducting these evacuations is an enormous undertaking for the campuses and the Transportation Department,” Sadler said, “By next week (the week of Sept. 29) we will have visited all campuses in the district. We will then repeat the drills in January,” Sadler said.