Houston District Trains for Disaster With Overturned Bus

HOUSTON — School bus drivers and attendants at Houston Independent School District (HISD) are getting a lifelike training experience in a mock disaster drill.

This year, the district’s transportation department has added counter-terrorism instruction to its training. Part of the new program is the disaster drill, which was held last Thursday and three times this week with an overturned bus.

“We can never prepare our drivers and attendants too much to be successful on the road,” said Chester Glaude, HISD transportation senior manager. “It is important that our team is fully prepared for all situations to make sure that HISD children feel comfortable and safe on our school buses.”

For the drill, an older model school bus is turned on its side and used as a hands-on learning lab for all the district’s bus drivers and attendants. They make use of previous training on such topics as student management and emergency evacuation, in addition to counter-terrorism.

Also, the mock disaster drill involves staged human injuries, which allows the bus drivers and attendants to practice the first aid training they received in May.

Officials said that the event also reminds the transportation staff members of “the basics,” including the importance of performing pre-trip and post-trip inspections of the bus, looking for out-of-place items (canisters, metal boxes, containers, etc.) and immediately reporting suspicious items.

HISD transports 30,000 students to and from school each day on about 875 school buses.

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