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20160831 Bus safety 1School bus drivers and transportation staff received a refresher course in safety on Wednesday morning. In addition to the state-mandated classroom training, the staff competed in a pre-trip challenge and learned from local law enforcement about how to deal with weapons on the bus and intruders who attempt to board the bus.

“It’s all about being prepared to keep our kids safe,” said Transportation Supervisor MaryAnn Belmont.

20160831 Bus safety 2All 130 Transportation employees took part in the training in an open lot at East Greenbush Fire Company, including bus drivers, aides and mechanics.

For the pre-trip challenge, small teams worked together to identify mechanical defects on a school bus. They walked around the bus, looked under the hood and checked the vehicle from top to bottom, all the while jotting down notes on a clipboard. The exercise simulated what drivers do every day – checking the safety of the vehicle – in the morning and afternoon.

Rensselaer County Sheriffs provided tips to keep angry adults from boarding the bus and East Greenbush police officers taught drivers how to deal with an active shooter.

“We hope it doesn’t happen, but if it were to occur, we want them to be prepared as best as possible,” said Sgt. Ernest Tubbs of the East Greenbush Police Department.

Bus drivers will practice driving their routes this week. They will also be calling parents of kindergarten students to introduce themselves ahead of the school year.

Thank you to the East Greenbush Police Department and Rensselaer County Sheriffs for contributing to this safety training.