Mike Dallessandro, the Niagara-Wheatfield Central School District's transportation director, was the guest speaker at the Lewiston No. 2 Volunteer Fire Department recently.
Dallessandro showed a 60-minute PowerPoint presentation for the emergency responders about the challenges firefighters and EMTs face when responding to school bus related emergencies and accidents. The program introduced firefighters to the types of school buses that are on the road today and brought awareness to the types of fuels firefighters may have to work with when at an accident scene.
Dallessandro warned his audience that there could be an emotional toll on them due the fact that a school bus accident may involve children they personally know. He also warned fire department officers that they should be prepared for the large amount of supplies they may need and where they can obtain them on short notice when confronted with this situation. Firefighters were also introduced to techniques on how to properly manage the bus electrical system as well as how to access the interior of a bus in the event doors or windows have been rendered inoperable due to the accident.
Following his program, Dallessandro gave the firefighters an up close and personal tour of a new NWCSD bus. Many firefighters had not been on a school bus since high school and found it was a very helpful experience to reacquaint themselves with the interior. Dallessandro said he is very grateful to NWCSD bus driver James McDonald for assisting in the training.
Dallessandro has participated in similar sessions with the Shawnee and Bergholz volunteer fire departments as well.
"These sessions are very successful because they provided local emergency providers with vital knowledge and also help foster excellent school/community partnerships," he said.