GALWAY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Last week NEWS10 talked about National School Bus Safety Week and some of the methods to help keep riders safe. NEWS10 learned of a bus crash in Galway where students encountered a scary situation of their own and has more on what is being done to help keep your kids safe.
It was a frightening moment for some kids from the Galway Central School District. Earlier this month their bus driver experienced a medical emergency that ultimately led to the bus crashing into a tree. Fortunately, nobody was hurt.
Dr. Brita Donovan, Superintendent for Galway Central School District says her students were prepared. “The students, drivers, and administrators practice bus safety including drills.” She went on to say they, “take those drills very seriously and I think it was instrumental to our students who were very helpful during the accident and stayed calm and followed directions.”
These drills are a part of a program all school districts are required by law to abide by. Shenendehowa officials say it is vital to teach kids the entire workings of the bus. Inside as well.
“Go up in front of the bus and pull the emergency brakes and bring the bus to a halt. That’s really one of the biggest things we teach them. The next thing we teach them is how to use the two-way radio and how to call into dispatch,” said Alfred Karam, Transportation Director for Shenendehowa Central School District.
Knowledge of a two-way radio may seem outdated; however, it is essential knowledge in the instance an accident occurs in a dead cell phone area. Karam additionally says they also need to know how to deal with certain emergencies.
“We teach them how to use a fire extinguisher. We tell them where the first aid kit is, and how to open it. We teach them how to open the emergency roof hatches, doors, windows so they can exit the bus,” said Karam.
While it remains unclear what caused the medical emergency in Galway, new federal regulations are focusing more on drivers.
Philip O’Brien, a training manager at the CDL school in Menands, says some school bus drivers will have to check in with the doctor more regularly before they can get behind the wheel.
“The things that they are getting really strict about is blood pressures as well as BMI’s. Back in the day there was not any real regulations set in place and now they’re actually drawing a line,” said O’Brien.
The Galway superintendent says the bus driver is now home and resting.