School bus crash training tests Bonner Springs first responders - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

School bus crash training tests Bonner Springs first responders

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First responders are getting a tour of two school buses to familiarize them with some of the safety features and exit routes. First responders are getting a tour of two school buses to familiarize them with some of the safety features and exit routes.
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BONNER SPRINGS, KS (KCTV) -

First responders in Bonner Springs are learning more about how to safely get children off their school bus if there's an accident.

The National Highway Safety Transportation Administration said children are eight times safer inside a school bus than if their parents dropped them off.

But that doesn't mean school buses are immune from accidents, which was the point of Wednesday night's safety training.

From 2001 to 2010, there were more than 1,200 deadly crashes nationwide involving school vehicles.

Last August, a school bus veered off of Highway 7 in Bonner Springs and tipped over, injuring 22 students. None of them were seriously injured.

Now, first responders are getting a tour of two school buses to familiarize them with some of the safety features and exit routes.

"I know it has been a while since I've been on the bus, but there has been a lot of changes, a lot of safety features that have changed for the kids," Bonner Springs firefighter Brandon Reynolds said.

Firefighters say much has changed since they were in school. Kevin Rhine, with Durham School Services, which owns the buses, agrees.

The company reached out to the Bonner Springs Fire Department for a safety training workshop.

"We thought it would be a good idea to let everyone climb on the buses and actually see how to open the emergency windows and the emergency roof hatches," Rhine said.

About 30 first responders did exactly that, walking through two buses of varying sizes, and gathering information from bus drivers. Fire Chief Dennis Hubbel said it was time well spent.

"This has been great for all of our responders to get them used to the access of the bus to actually be on them, touching them," Hubbel said.

But those first responders were not the only ones who learned something.

One of the firefighters pointed out that when they arrive on a scene they don't know how many children were onboard and in some cases, because of injury, the bus driver may not be able to provide that information.

"That is something we're going to take away as well, which may include posting the phone number for the local facility right at the bulk head of the bus," Rhine said.

And both sides say they came away with greater knowledge on the features of the bus and how to safely evacuate children if they get into an accident.

It is likely there will be more workshops in the future.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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