Emergency bus evacuation drills at Southside ISD teach safety, leadership skills

More than 200 summer school students participated in the drills

SAN ANTONIO – For parents, sometimes riding the bus to school may seem like the safest and most time efficient option. However, do students know what to do in the event of an emergency?

On Monday morning, summer school students at Gallardo Elementary School in Southside ISD participated in an emergency bus evacuation drill to learn the basics.

Emergency bus evacuation drills teach students at Southside ISD safety and leadership skills. (Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Administrators brought in 10 buses for 250 students to participate in the drills.

In these sessions, students learned:

  • When/how to exit a bus in the event of an accident.
  • How to exit a bus in the event of smoke.
  • How to open the roof hatch.
  • How to properly exit the back door.
  • What to do after exiting the bus.

“God forbid that something happens. You don’t want it to happen, but when they do, we want to be prepared,” Henry Izaguirre, director of operations for Southside ISD, said. “There’s some assurance on our end that everybody’s trained the right way. We stress student safety here (at Southside ISD). Safety is one of our primary concerns, and every time we have an opportunity to train our kids on the proper safety procedures, we take advantage of it.”

Parents like María Álvarez said these drills make them feel more at ease.

“It brings me more peace, because that way I know that they (know where) the exits are,” she said.

Izaguirre said these drills also teach the children leadership skills because assigned helpers have to provide support for each passenger as they sit and slide off the back of the bus.

“A lot of (the drills) are student assisted so, it gives them a little bit of leadership skills there as well,” he said.

The safety drills will continue this week for middle school students in summer school, followed by all students when school goes back in session in mid-August.

About the Authors

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.

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