School Bus Driver Inservice TITLE OF LESSON: CRISIS RESPONSE ON A SCHOOL BUS

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1 School Bus Driver Inservice TITLE OF LESSON: CRISIS RESPONSE ON A SCHOOL BUS Objectives of Lesson: At the end of this lesson: Name three (3) attributes of a crisis pull off on your route. Name four (4) observations that make you more aware in your bus environment. Describe the primary use of a school bus communication system. List the four (4) points of defense in a crisis response. Describe the kind of environment a driver should try to create in a crisis situation. List five (5) best ways to help law enforcement so their response is effective. Equipment for Lesson: Projector and Computer Introduction: S-1 We live in a time where the unexpected needs to be expected. At any given moment a serious crisis can happen on your bus. This year in Washington State, a transportation department was notified that a student had a gun on the bus with intentions of shooting someone at school. The police department was notified and given a bus number. The bus drivers all continued on their routes. With many of the buses coming in and out of the schools, the officers found it very difficult to find the bus as the bus numbers were difficult to read. As a result, the student and gun made its way to the classroom. We need to have a plan in place to limit the potential of injuries caused as a result of weapons brought on the bus. Today we will talk about: S-2 Crisis Management Environment Awareness Communication and Controlling the Crisis Lesson Plan 1

2 Being ready for a crisis means to S-3 1. Be mentally prepared. 2. Be aware of your surroundings. 3. Be able to communicate to get help. 4. Keep passengers calm and safe as possible. Although help may be on the way, we are considered the first responders because we are at the scene as it unfolds. Use good judgment and assess what is needed. We will share four points of crisis response: S-4 Alert, Avoid, Deny and Defend Since law enforcement may be arriving in some critical situations, this lesson will include some expectations that both bus driver and law enforcement have when they work together in a crisis. Presentation: I. Crisis Route Management A. Have a plan Be mentally prepared S-5 1. Identify at least three pull-off places on your route that have officer friendly characteristics. a. Wide shoulder (somewhere on your route) b. Big space (e.g. vacant parking lot) c. Not populated Trainer Note: Have class discussion with the following scenarios. Refer to your District Policies and or procedures. You can insert your procedures. 2. Let s play the what if game. S-6 a. What if half way through your route a student tells you Sammy has a gun in his back pack? b. What if a student tells the driver that Sammy texted her about bringing a gun to school this morning? Sammy is three stops ahead Lesson Plan 2

3 B. Be AWARE of your Environment S-7 1. Be Aware of the radio a. White noise (is a constant noise you no longer hear) b. Listen for emergency codes from base or other drivers c. Do a radio check (make sure the radio is operating properly) d. After rail grade crossings don t forget to turn radio back up (check the noise suppression switch) 2. Be Aware of the students posture a. Crouching down b. Walking stiff (gun stuffed down the pant leg) 3. Be Aware of what is going on with students S-8 a. Anyone acting anxious b. Unusual behavior from normal 4. Be Aware of students clothing - all puffed up? a. Possible weapon under the coat b. Cargo pants (big pockets) c. Hoodies over the head C. Communication with Dispatch S-9 Trainer Note: Refer to your district policies and/or procedures. You can insert your procedures. The following information on crisis codes are examples. You might want to work with your local law enforcement. Communication with the dispatcher is paramount in an emergency. It is important to remember the radio is used for business and emergencies only. The following are some simple steps to follow in a crisis Lesson Plan 3

4 1. Reporting Driver a. Keep crisis codes simple. W.H.O. is an example of a simple code (W 050 calling base) W = weapon H = hostage O = officer b. All drivers should be instructed to have radio silence when a crisis code is given. c. Be prepared to give useful information so responding agencies can find you quickly. Location, direction of travel Be careful not to alert the suspect 2. Other Fleet Drivers S-10 a. All other drivers limit use to emergencies. b. Listen to what is being said. At times our radio becomes white noise. D. CONTROLLING THE CRISIS S-11 If a suspect sees you are pulling over, make up a story of why the bus is being pulled over. Example; bus is overheated; speed odometer quit working accident down the street, bus is hard to steer, have something in your eye or have a coughing attack II. Four Crisis Points S-12 Students should not know the district s crisis response process. This process must stay with the staff. Students are the ones that could pass on or use the information for the assailant. A. Alert 1. If you observe suspicious behavior you need to alert dispatch. 2. Know your district s plan and protocol so authorities can be alerted quickly. 3. An alert should be all encompassing Lesson Plan 4

5 a. An alert can be a call out to all buses and may include a call to 911. b. In a school building crisis bus drivers may be notified to evacuate students. Trainer Note: Make sure to work with School Administration. Being alert is important. In all cases, you are the first responder on the scene. As a first responder, you will need to use good judgment and assess what is needed. WE will next talk about three options. If you can AVOID the crisis, do so now. B. Avoid S To AVOID the problem means to flee. 2. It is important to remember that counting students that have fled the situation to gather up later is a much easier number to count than counting dead students on your bus that had an opportunity to flee. 3. If you evacuate, evacuate away from the danger and let students know where you want them to gather if you can. C. Deny /Flee S If you can t avoid, you should deny by maintaining closed entrances to your bus, whatever it takes to DENY a potential assailant access to your bus. 2. When the immediate danger is removed, DENY/FLEE. There may come a time when you have to defend yourself and others. D. Defend S To DEFEND means to do something to protect the students 2. You DEFEND if or when possible. 3. Tell the students to AVOID or FLEE if possible Lesson Plan 5

6 III. Expectations S-16 A. Expectations of the Driver Students look to drivers for direction. 1. Use calming techniques. 2. Speak in a calm voice. 3. Speak respectfully. 4. Listen. 5. In the midst of chaos and panic on all sides the driver first seeks to create a calm environment. B. Law Enforcement Expectations S-17 In order to help the officers approach the bus without detection and easy access on the bus: 1. Shut the bus off. 2. Turn the dome lights on so the people inside cannot see out. 3. If possible release the air to service door. This will make it easier for law enforcement to enter the bus. The goal is to supply information needed for law enforcement S-18 response to be effective. Be ready to provide the following information when asked by your dispatcher: 1. How many suspects are on board and their names? 2. What is their emotional state and how close they are to harming others? 3. What are the numbers and general health of passengers? 4. Where are the suspects located on the bus? 5. Weapon systems what type? Keep the description general (e.g. gun, knife, bomb, or bat). They do not need to know what type Lesson Plan 6

7 Summary: Today we talked about: S-19 Crisis Management Environment Awareness Communication Controlling the Crisis Being ready for a crisis means to: S-20 be mentally prepared by planning ahead, be aware of your surroundings, be able to communicate to get the help you need and be able to keep passengers as calm and safe as possible. Although help may be on the way, we are still the first responders. S-21 We shared four points of crisis response: Alert, Avoid, Deny and Defend. This lesson included some expectations that both bus driver and law enforcement have when they work together in a crisis. Are there any questions? Evaluation: Questions 1. Name three (3) attributes a crisis pull off on your route should S-22 include. 2. Name four (4) observations that make you more aware in S-23 your bus environment. 3. Describe the primary use of a school bus communication S-24 system. 4. List the four (4) points of defense in a crisis response. S How do you create a calm environment? S What is the best way to help law enforcement so their S-27 response is effective? THE END S Lesson Plan 7

8 Answers 1. Wide shoulder, Big space, Not heavily populated 2. Aware of the radio, Aware of students posture, Aware of what is going on with the students, Aware of the students clothing 3. Emergencies and Business 4. Alert, Avoid, Deny, Defend 5. Use calming techniques, Speak in a calm voice, Speak respectfully, Listen, In the midst of chaos and panic on all sides the driver first seeks to create a calm environment 6. How many and the name of the suspects, Their emotional state and how close they are to harming others The numbers and general health of passengers Where are the suspects located on the bus? Weapon systems what type? Keep the description general (e.g. gun, knife, bomb, bat) Lesson Plan 8

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