School Bus Fleet

November 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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Page 52 of 77

51 N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 4 • S C H O O L B U S F L E E T D U R A B L E • R E L I A B L E • T R U S T E D • FROM HOME TO HOMEROOM ON BOARD FOR EVERY TRIP with TIE TECH on board, you can be sure you have durable, high quality safety products you can trust. • 877-284-5400 • Universal Storage Pouch • Evac-Aide • Safe Cut • Fire Blanket • Evacuation Transporter • Steering Wheel Cover • Wheel Chair Lift Belts What is your bus being faced with this year? Supplier Council Member 800.543.8222 • • Computerized cutting provides repeatability for the best ft and fnish in the industry. • Large distribution network. • Passenger securement systems. add the 5x8 picture of the driver to the lounge area or another prominent location. Create a special, one-time scholarship fund in the driver's name for the school that he or she drove for. Another wonderful tribute is to al- low the students from the driver 's route to draw pictures of their driver with the school bus or to tell a sto- ry about an encounter with the driv- er. Gathering these special remem- brances and sharing them with the family will certainly serve as a heal- ing mechanism. Ask your drivers and staff to pro- vide their own personal stories that may bring a smile to the family or a smile to themselves. Open up the drivers' lounge to the joy of the per- son's life, rather than the sadness of his or her death. In most cases, every- one has a story to tell and just needs an ear or two to listen. Again, for a family that has suddenly been thrust into a world of uncertainties and loss, hearing these kinds of stories will provide an anchor of love to all. Post-trip There is no easy route through this most diffcult of challenges in a super- visor's life. Oftentimes, your course of action will depend on the reason for the death. A natural death, heart at- tack, car accident, violent death or sui- cide will present different challenges and a lot more routes to choose from. Being as prepared as you possibly can, being willing to do whatever it takes to help your staff and the family, feeling empathy and staying calm will serve as your GPS. The most important gift that you can give to families, drivers and staff is time. Time does heal. Noth- ing will change the realities of the "here and now" of death, but time will certainly help. Lionel Pinn is the director of transportation for the Centralia/ Chehalis Pupil Transportation Cooperative in Centralia, Wash- ington, and the author of the crit- ically acclaimed nonfction book Greengrass Pipe Dancers.

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