Fort Dodge Community School District

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Fair Oaks Middle School Bus Evacuation Drill

September 20, 2012

Annual Bus Emergency Evacuation Drills

September 20, 2012, Fort Dodge, IA-  Fair Oaks Middle School students learned an annual lesson on Thursday by participating in a bus emergency evacuation drill. The drills are required twice a year and will be conducted again in the spring. 

When asked why the drill is important, Joey Martinez, a fifth grade student, said, “It’s to remind us what to do if there is a fire or accident.”

Allie Channell, a sixth grader who does not ride the bus to school, explained, “Even though I don’t ride the bus to school, if I go on a field trip and something happens I need to know what to do.”

The students and drivers discussed various reasons why a bus might need to be evacuated including smoke and/or fire, and being broken down in a place where there is danger of being hit by another vehicle. The students then helped identify where the emergency exits on the bus are located. Several students questioned why they could not practice using the roof hatch for an evacuation. The driver responded that while using the roof hatch sounds fun, it would mean the bus had tipped over which would not be a fun experience.

The drivers instructed the students on how to exit the bus during an emergency. Two student helpers and one student leader were identified to assist in the evacuation. These three students exited the bus first and then the driver dismissed the remaining students by seat. Students sat on the floor in the doorway of the emergency exit door and used the shoulders of the helpers to help lower themselves to the ground, and then were directed to a safe gathering place by the leader. 

“You read about drivers becoming incapacitated and the kids know what to do,” stated Roxanne Pogge, a teacher at Fair Oaks who helped organize the drill. “The knowledge is there and seems to be second nature when the students need it. These drills are one more thing we can do to help keep our students safe.”  

The mission of the Fort Dodge Community School District is to encourage and assist each individual to achieve his/her level of educational excellence. For more information about the Fort Dodge Community Schools visit or call 515.576.1161. Our Schools. Our Community. Our Pride.



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