Lincoln Public School students are learning school bus safety tips. Drivers go over the locations of the first aid kit, fire extinguisher and emergency exits. Students also learn how to call for help on the radio, especially useful if the driver is somehow incapacitated.
"There's help right there," says transport paraprofessional Audrey Ingram said. "Click of a button. But, if you don't show [students] they know none of that."
Children also go over how to properly evacuate the bus from a side emergency exit. When seconds count, knowing how to evacuate is crucial. "We just want students to understand that there are things that they can do to help protect themselves in the event of an unfortunate situation," says Bill McCoy, LPS director of Custodial Services and Transportation.
McCoy said LPS has been lucky in that it hasn't had to deal with too many dangerous situations, but some parts of Nebraska haven't been as fortunate. Four people died in a school bus crash near Blue Hill two years ago and a crash near Waverly sent five students to the hospital last September. McCoy says severe weather or a bus submerged in water are all possibilities they need to prepare for.
"If you had a fire in your home you probably should have an escape plan," says Ingram. "It's the exact same thing."
Safety training takes place after school before the bus takes students home. Schools notified parents that their children would be about 20 minutes late.