School Bus Transportation
Ohio County Schools operates 31 regular buses and 5 buses for special needs students. Drivers receive 30 hours of classroom training, complete first aid training, C.P.R., defensive driving, and pass a written driving examination given by the WVDE, Office of Transportation. All transportation employees must pass a yearly physical examination. All drivers and mechanics are subject to drug and alcohol screening.
All Ohio County Schools buses are equipped with video monitoring housings in which a camera can be installed, a two-way radio system, and cellular phones.
Ohio County Bus Drivers Recognized Nationally
Twenty-four Ohio County Schools bus drivers have garnered recognition for their commitment and dedication to safety. These 24 drivers were part of the Ohio County Schools transportation team that drove over 732,461 miles taking 4,440 students to and from school safely each day.
Ohio County requires each bus driver to make daily safety checks of their vehicles. Additionally, statewide inspections of vehicles are conducted two times each year; while Ohio County Schools own staff of mechanics makes monthly maintenance inspections.
Bus Safety Program
All route buses are equipped with cellular telephones and either newly purchased or upgraded 2-way radios. An AT&T Wireless Grant Program funded cellular phones on 20 of the buses for six years. Ohio County was the first school district in West Virginia and one of four in the eastern United States to initially participate in this program.
The expanded safety, education, and communication initiatives have enabled all school buses to be within reach of anytime, anywhere communication. Through the use of the mobile phones, bus drivers have immediate access to 911 and emergency assistance that only wireless communications can provide.
OPERATION B-DIRECT ("Bus Drivers Inside Radio Emergency Call Transmit:) is a joint partnership between the Ohio County Sheriff's Department, Staley Communication, and Ohio County Schools. All route buses are equipped with access to the Sheriff's Department frequency and dispatch. As a result, the bus drivers have additional capability for emergency communication. There is no cost to Ohio County Schools for OPERATION B-DIRECT.
All Ohio County school buses are outlined with reflective tape and equipped with strobe lights.
WEST VIRGINIA STATE SCHOOL BUS INSPECTION RESULTS:
The West Virginia State School bus inspection program for the 1997-98 school year revealed 1.140 defects per bus during the first inspection, .840 defects per bus after the second, and the third inspection results were .761 defects per bus. The first inspection of the 1998-99 school year resulted in an inspection rate of .460 defects per bus. The second inspection for the 1998-99 school year was 1.0 defects per bus. The first inspection of the 1999-2000 school year was .60 defects per bus. The second inspection of the 1999-2000 school year was .760 defects per bus. The first inspection of the 2000-2001 school year was 1.02 defects per bus. The second inspection of the 2000-2001 school year was .795 defects per bus. The first inspection of the 2001-2002 school year was .591 defects per bus. The second inspection of the 2002-2002 school year was .632 defects per bus. The first inspection of the 2002-2003 school year was .266.
The Operations Center is now equipped with a state-of-the-art computerized fueling system. This system is extremely cost effective and makes monitoring of fuel costs more efficient. Furthermore, the garage has been equipped with a hoist to service buses, heavy equipment and an automatic bus washer. The transportation department is very fortunate to have such a modern, well equipped facility.
Mechanics employed by Ohio County Schools are certified through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Trained in the fields of:
- Body Systems and Special Equipment.
- Diesel Engines.
- Drive Train. Brakes.
- Suspension and Steering.
- Electrical & Electronic Systems