Usually, school buses are a safe and efficient way to get kids to school, but, on September 28, the school bus was the teacher!
Kevin Schuelke, former Milbank fire chief and head of Grant County Emergency Management, felt it was important to offer emergency instruction regarding school buses to Grant County’s first responders. The education is rarely available at the local level due to the lack of school buses required for a realistic reenactment. On the other hand, it is also often difficult to insure everyone gets to the state and district-level training venues.
Schuelke said one day he got to talking with Pat DeFea, who owns and operates Milbank’s school buses, and, lo and behold, DeFea Transportation needed to take a school bus out of service. “We said, ‘Hey! Let’s train with it.’ So, many thanks to Pat DeFea!”
Milbank Fire and Rescue and Grant County Emergency Management teamed up to conduct the seminar that was held at Sumner Diesel. The Milbank, Big Stone, Corona, and Stockholm fire departments, along with Grant-Roberts Ambulance and the Milbank Police Department, participated in the safety session.
“Personnel trained and watched as we had the opportunity to move and tear this thing apart,” Schuelke commented. He said, “School buses are everywhere. When an accident happens, many agencies respond. It’s important for the agencies to educate themselves to protect our most important natural resource –our kids,”
“During this training, firefighters got to experience the incredible structural integrity and strength of these beasts,” Schuelke said. “School buses are probably the safest form of transportation today. Parents, you can feel safe having your kiddo riding these heavy-duty containers!”