School bus drivers in Eau Claire are preparing to head back to school

In less than two weeks students will be headed back to school.
In the coming days not only will families be getting back into the school time routine. But school bus drivers are brushing up on their driving skills before they hit the streets again.

Some of these drivers have been taking kids to school for as many as 40 years but whether you're a veteran or a rookie the skills these drivers are learning today can be beneficial to everyone

"The tight turns..." "Their evasive actions..." "The serpentine course..."

These are all training exercises for school bus drivers gearing up for another school year.

Just like students who have to ease back into their lessons bus drivers have to brush up on their skills in case they're a little rusty.

Tamra Harvey says, "They're really enjoying the fact that they can put the buses to the test."

And it's not all behind the wheel training much of it is classroom work. Here they learn how to deal with medical issues and special situations some students may have.

Linda Bellesbach has been driving a bus for 18 years. She says these training sessions really help. but there is prep work to be done in the field as well.

Linda Bellesbach says, "We always go out ahead of time on our route. Check out the new kids and the houses and the route and the streets and everything."

Drew Williams says, "Now these drivers say they need the help of the public to be aware of those school buses that are going to be out and about here very soon."

Harvey says, "Be very aware, yellow buses means there are children around. Be slow be cautious, if you see the red lights coming on that means that bus is going to be stopping, so don't try to hurry past it. Please give then the time and space they need."

For these drivers getting the children to school is the number one priority, but it's not just a job... it's a passion

Bellesbach says, "Sometimes you're the first face they see in the morning and the last face they see that night and you try to make it positive for them."

Harvey says, "Watch for kids, keep an eye out for those buses. Make sure that we can all keep our children safe. We are handling the world's most precious cargo so anything you can do to help us out we really greatly appreciate that."

And that classroom work is just as important as the driving skills. There the drivers learn everything from how to administer an EpiPen for a student with an allergic reaction to C-P-R.


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