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State Inspectors Host Bus Evacuation for Entire Mid-Prairie School District

Posted: Thursday, May 24th, 2018 at 6:27 am
Author: KCII News - Sam McIntosh

State Inspector Verlan Vos instructs Mid-Prairie students on how to operate the emergency bus exits. Photos by Sam McIntosh.

For the first time in Iowa, state bus inspectors performed a bus evacuation for an entire school district, and it happened at Mid-Prairie.

Four state inspectors and five Iowa State Patrol Troopers helped instruct approximately 1,400 students from preschool to high school age on all of the ways to exit a bus in case of an accident with hands-on instruction. Mid-Prairie Transportation Director Teresa Hartley shares why Wednesday’s evacuation differed from those in the past, “Typical bus evacuations they kind of point ,so we would say, ‘Yep, this is an exit, this is the roof hatch,’ or, ‘Yep, this is an exit, this is a window escape.’ We’ve never opened them, the kids have never touched them. They have exited the front door and the back door but that’s all, so today they did [it] all, they touched everything.”

Mid-Prairie’s state inspector Joe Funk shares what he wants students to take away from the bus evacuation, “The biggest thing that we want to be able to go ahead, that we want to have today is that at least they can walk away with one piece of safety information that they’ll hold and they’ll remember.”

Every district is required to have two school bus evacuations each year, and all students in every building participated. Max Christensen, executive officer of school transportation for the Iowa Department of Education, says it is important because whether it’s a bus ride to school, field trips, or for other activities, about every student rides the bus at least once a year.