Health/Safety/Risk Management staffer presents at statewide fire safety conference
Safety Coordinator Michelle "Micki" Jones of the Capital Region BOCES Health/Safety/Risk Management Service recently shared her training practices with firefighters from across New York state.
Jones was one of a dozen presenters invited to the annual Public Fire Safety Educators Conference at the New York State Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls, N.Y. in early May. Her presentation was based on a school bus fire safety evacuation drill Jones helped organize with the Saratoga Springs Fire Department last year for transportation staff at Saratoga Springs Central School District.
Slightly more than 100 fire prevention educators at the conference — mostly from volunteer fire departments around the state — attended Jones’ two-part presentation, during which she shared a PowerPoint created for the Saratoga school bus evacuation training. She also discussed ideas on how best to facilitate collaborative trainings between schools and fire department personnel.
Following the presentation, fire prevention educators joined Jones outside for a bus evacuation training exercise. Participants each took turns learning the proper exiting procedures in a stressful and scary situation as smoke from smoke machines poured into a bus donated by the Schuyler County ARC. The hands-on exercise included a review of the use of portable fire extinguishers. New York requires that every school bus be equipped with two-and-a-half pound fire extinguishers, but Jones said there are no mandates requiring drivers know how to use them.
“In our safety training with bus drivers, we discuss how to assess the situation and determine if a fire is too big for that small fire extinguisher to be effective,” Jones said. “Drivers are reminded they are not firefighters, but if an exit is blocked, they may need to use the fire extinguisher to clear the path.”
Jones again teamed up with the Saratoga Springs Fire Department on May 16 to help present a second school bus evacuation training and drill for Saratoga school district transportation staff who could not participate the first time around.
In the photo above, Safety Coordinator Michelle "Micki" Jones conducts a bus evacuation drill with fire prevention educators from around New York state at a conference hosted by the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control and the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs.