Bus evacuation

By Joey May

Cpt. Dennis Entrikin, with the Hiawatha Police Department, teacher Mrs. Sudbeck and student helpers, help other students exit a bus during a safety drill at the elementary school Monday.

Hiawatha students learned about bus safety and proper procedures for evacuation on Monday.

Jerry Clary, public resource officer with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, said the bus evacuation drills are an annual event that helps schools meet state standards in teaching students safety on the buses.

Four of the district buses were available at each school — starting with Hiawatha Middle School in the morning, then the high school mid-day and elementary in the afternoon.

Clary said the bus safety and evacuation drills for all the students is a combined effort between the schools, Sheriff’s Department, Kansas Highway Patrol and the Hiawatha Police Department.

Students are divided into groups and first watch a 13-minute video “Bus Evacuation Drills for students” and then are brought to a bus. Many students aren’t familiar with buses, he said, as only a certain number ride country routes prior to and after school. For many, they only are on buses for field trips, so the bus evacuation and safety drills are important for those students who aren’t as familiar with the buses.

Following the video, students were brought to the buses by classes and taught several safety procedures for the riding the bus, along with locations of windows that are specially built for an emergency exit. In addition, a back door opens for emergency exits.

“This is a time of year that gives law enforcement an opportunity interact and get to know students,” Clary said.

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