The Florida Department of Education voted unanimously today that all bus drivers and attendants receive certified CPR and first aid training.
“We applaud this decision and look forward to implementing this important safety feature,” said Rob Davis, assistant superintendent for support services.
“The exact cost of such training, especially over time, is not yet known. The initial costs associated with such training could be approximately $75,000. However, no cost is too great, and we are committed to investing the proper resources to make this a reality. The safety of our students and staff members is the highest priority.”
“Bus drivers and attendants are required to be certified by Nov. 1, 2020,” Davis said. “We will work as quickly as possible to accomplish this and further improve the safety measures in place for our students.”
Last summer, Polk County Public Schools began conducting “hands only” CPR training for all drivers and attendants during our back-to-school in-service training. In addition, any new bus drivers or bus attendants hired throughout the year also received this “hands only” CPR training.
Another important safety feature underway are upgrades to the radios on our fleet of more than 600 buses and other support vehicles.
The new fleet radio system is expected to be in place by the start of the school year. Bus staff will receive training on the new radios prior to the beginning of the new school year.
The new system will allow bus drivers and attendants to no longer need to use cell phones to call 911, or radio to the district’s bus dispatchers to call for help.
Instead, bus drivers or attendants can press a button and immediately have contact with the county’s 911 system and emergency services. The upgrade will also make it possible to immediately identify which bus is transmitting, and its location.
You can find more information about the upgrade here.