Drivers learn to deal with school bus problems at SH seminar

Nearly 500 bus drivers got some tips on how to deal with equipment and kid problems during a training session held at Sweet Home High School Feb. 27.

The workshop, put on by South Willamette chapter of Oregon Pupil Transportation Association drew a total of 487 drivers, including 29 from from Sweet Home. Others came from Greater Albany, Salem-Keizer, Bend-LaPine, Central Linn, Lebanon, Springfield, East Linn Christian, Santiam Christian, and North Clackamas schools.

Kathryn Phillips of Bend, an expert in student management, presented a training session on how to handle challenges posed by youngsters.

Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance District staff members Jessie West and Jarred Huenergardt led a session on handling fire extinguishers.

Drivers were graded on hands-on pre-trip inspections of three different types of school buses, using vehicles supplied by Sweet Home and Greater Albany school districts.

Various equipment and mechanical items were altered so the drivers could test their skills. Two buses had no mechanical or equipment problems.

The OPTA chapter President Chris Ellison Chris Ellison of Albany, son of Sweet Home Transportation Supervisor LD Ellison, said that the theme of this year’s seminar was “Bus Driver’s Boot Camp,” which explained why many of the instructors wore camouflage,