While students in Aiken County Public Schools were out of school Friday, the district’s school bus drivers and bus monitors were getting a lesson on safety.
The drivers gathered at Aiken High School during the district’s in-service day and participated in training led by local law enforcement that focused on various scenarios they could face on the bus, including fires, hostage situations and accidents.
It’s always good to be prepared, said the district’s executive manager of transportation, Maria McClure.
“They have a tremendous responsibility and they encounter new things, new situations, different situations every day,” said McClure of the bus personnel. “We’re trying to prepare them to handle those.”
Those attending the training also heard special needs and safety presentations.
“We have more and more special-needs students that are riding our regular buses now, not just special-needs buses,” she said.
Judy Jeffrey said the in-service day training helped attendees learn ways to remain vigilant.
“It teaches you to be proactive in a lot of ways,” she said. “We’re learning about situations that can occur …things we should pay attention to.”
The training was also a good reinforcement, said Dorothy Thomas.
“They always tell us to think ‘what if.’ What if this happens? What if that happened? It makes you more aware,” she said. “It is someone’s child and they’re your responsibility as a driver.”