Smoke began to roll from the back of the bus over the heads of passengers. It didn’t take very long for the visibility to be reduced to near zero as people began to find their way toward the emergency exits.
Fortunately, this scene didn’t involve any children and the smoke was non-toxic as Oswego City School District bus drivers, with assistance from the Oswego City Fire Department wereÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â involved in a safety training course a the district transportation center.
Tom Gunn, Director of Transportation, said, “This is a perfect time for smoke bus training for our bus drivers.” He went on to explain, “Smoke bus training has the Oswego City Fire Department personnel simulating a smoke filled bus. Basically we are reviewing emergency exit proceedings in the event of a situation of that manner.”
Oswego Fire Department Assistant Chief Jeff McCrobie said, “This is a great simulation because we learn quite a bit in talking with Tom (Gunn) and the drivers on what their protocols are when there is a smoke situation or injury on a bus. We know what to expect and I will take that back and relay it to our personnel. This opens up a lot of eyes and this really reinforces the working relationships we have with the school district.”
Continuing he said, “It is going to provide a safer environment for the kids. The drivers now know what it is like to have smoke in a bus and know what to expect.”
McCrobie and Gunn watched as the bus packed with bus drivers as passengers began to fill up with smoke. McCrobie noted, “It is a non-toxic kind of vegetable oil smoke. We have a small smoke machine at the back of the bus and it will fill the bus quickly. The drivers really find out what the visibility is like on a bus in this type of situation.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â They know that the number one priority in a situation like this is to get everyone safely off of the bus.”
He noted that the fire department doesn’t want the drivers to worry about putting a fire out. The key is to get children off the bus and move them a safe distance away.
After the evacuation the drivers had a second opportunity to walk through the bus again. The vehicle was filled with smoke and all walked through, feeling under the seats and then exited through the emergency door in the rear of the bus.
After the training the drivers went back inside for further safety review.
Gunn noted, “There are two state required meetings through the school year, but we take a proactive approach and have monthly safety meetings with our drivers reviewing policies and procedures.”
Drivers found out how it was like to be in a smoke filled bus and even though the non-toxic atmosphere wasn’t dangerous there were still anxious moments.
However, this was a genuine learning experience and the only damage done is that some of the drivers smelled like French fries due to the vegetable base.
The lessons learned at the safety session hopefully will never be needed with a smoke filled bus on the highway, but through the partnership and cooperation of the Oswego City Fire Department and the Oswego City School District Transportation Department the children will be safer.
The fourth annual Oswego War of 1812 Symposium will be held from Friday, April 4 to Sunday, April 6. The symposium will be held at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, 26 E. First St., Oswego. This will be the first symposium where SUNY Oswego students are encouraged to participate in the War of 1812 research paper competition. Students interested in competing must follow the requirements for the contest.
Matthew Lees of Cato is studying abroad in Rome, Italy, during spring semester. Lees is a third-year film and animation major in Rochester Institute of Technology’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.
With their wild west musical not receiving good reviews, dancers Bobby Pepper and Bambi Bernet fear that the show will close and the entire company will be out of work. The scene is from the comic murder mystery musical Curtains, performed by Quirk’s Players this weekend (March 7 and 8) at the Bodley auditorium. Friday and Saturday will be at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
James H. Lee will be the topic of the first Oswego Town Historical Society meeting of 2014. It will be held at the Oswego Town Hall, 2320 County Route 20, on March 19 at 6:30 p.m. Lee, a resident of the town and North Sterling, was in the Battle of the Kearsage and Alabama 150 years ago this June.
Assemblyman Will Barclay voted to reform the controversial Common Core standards and curriculum. Assembly bill 8929 prohibits Common Core testing from counting against students’ permanent records or on teacher evaluation scores, but fails to delay these high-stakes tests or institute the type of long-term reforms necessary to remedy our education system.