CF Schools/Fire hold bus emergency training - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

CF Schools/Fire hold bus emergency training

CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) - School buses are back on the streets this month carrying students to school or home.

Doing it safely is a priority for drivers and school administrators in every district.

That's why a training exercise in Cedar Falls today could help kids there in an emergency.

Cedar Falls Schools teamed up with the Cedar Falls Fire Department and Sartori paramedics to help bus drivers in case there's an emergency.

They also got a chance to practice their skills if they have to respond to a school bus crash.

Lorella Nagle and Judy Roethler have driven school buses for more than 20 years.

They've never been in a bus that's been wrecked until now.

"It's a different way of looking at the bus this way plus when you've got a student sideways in the bus, it's totally different and what to do in a minor incident but yet they're kind of upset," said Nagle.

She's one of about 30 Cedar Falls school bus drivers getting training on what to do if there's a crash or a fire.

Cedar Falls firefighters helped them know some do's and don't's in an emergency - complete with smoke and victims.

"I think it's been a very eye-opening experience for everybody and hopefully we'll never ever have a situation like this but if we do, our drivers have had a little bit of exposure to that," said Cedar Falls School Business Director Doug Nefzger.

Later, Cedar Falls fire crews had their own extrication training with the bus.

They tore it apart to learn what works and what doesn't when every second counts to rescue kids.

"School buses are built like tanks and there are certain areas that you want to get into and certain areas you want to stay away from when time is of the essence and this is going to give them the opportunity to see which tools are most effective," said Cedar Falls Fire Capt. Mike Buhrow.

The fire department and the school district have been planning this exercise since early spring.

They say they haven't had a serious bus accident in many years but they want to be prepared just in case.

School starts Wednesday.

Cedar Falls school officials say School Bus Sales donated the bus for the exercise.

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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