HISD’s Transportation Services will challenge bus drivers and attendants with a back-to-school training program called “Safety Expo.” The safety expo will be held on Aug. 7, 12, and 14 from 7 a.m. to noon at the Northwest Transportation Center, located at 6351 Pinemont Drive, 77092.
HISD Transportation Services has partnered with American Red Cross, Operation Lifesaver, the HISD Police Department Gang Task Force, the Houston Fire Department, and the City of Houston Health and Human Services. The expo will include hands-on drills in railroad crossing safety, gang awareness, student management, emergency evacuations, hurricane preparedness, first aid, and green driving. “This year’s training is really exciting in that it puts folks in realistic situations and challenges them,” HISD Transportation General Manager Nathan Graf said. “It is not your typical training.”
One of the more dramatic hands-on activities includes evacuating a school bus on fire. In partnership with the Houston Fire Department, thick smoke created by a smoke machine will be pumped into school buses, significantly reducing visibility. Drivers and attendants will then have to locate simulated children on board and then safely evacuate by crawling down the aisle of the bus.
HISD’s Transportation Services will also be providing a compelling activity on the dangers of heat and the impact to children left inside a bus. Three years ago, HISD Transportation Services installed child reminders located inside and at the back of every bus. A driver must deactivate this alarm before they exit the bus. Otherwise, the horn will continue to sound. Drivers will be reminded to conduct a thorough post trip prior to deactivating this alarm.
In 2013, HISD’s Transportation Services safety training program and educational video were ranked among the “Year in Review” best according to School Bus Fleet magazine. HISD Transportation has also ranked as one of the “100 Best Fleets” nationwide consecutively over the last four years and received an exemplary performance award in 2014 from The Council of the Great City Schools. Each day, about 925 HISD school buses travel 80,000 miles as they transport over 33,000 students to and from school.