Local students evacuate school buses for fire drill - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local students evacuate school buses for fire drill

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More than 130 Hamilton County students had to evacuate from three school buses Thursday morning.

But it was only a drill.

Thursday was the first of ten practice evacuations planned for local students. And the test school was Lookout Valley Elementary.

Should the worst happen, kids may have to evacuate their school bus. It happened in September when a local bus was involved in a minor accident on Bonny Oaks Drive. And Thursday's drill was all about preparation should that ever happen here again.

"We're here to do an evacuation. First we want to locate all our emergency exits. Do y'all see the red handles? Those are your emergency exits," said one driver to a bus full of students.

On most school days, "evacuation" isn't a word you want to hear. But Thursday's goal is about learning safety should there ever be a real emergency.

"These kids were great here. They responded to questions, got off the bus in an orderly fashion. We were very pleased," said Hamilton County Dept. of Education Transportation Director Ben Coulter.

Ben Coulter organized the pretend fire for kids in grades K-2. He said each bus has 10 exits: the front and back doors, two overhead exits, and six window exits.

"I never hopped out the back and it's kinda fun hopping out off something like that tall," said 2nd grader Linus.

The kids understood the danger should that fire or wreck ever not be pretend.

"If we don't have a drill, someone could get hurt or go to the doctor," Linus said.

"If we ever are in an accident on the bus we know where the exits are," said 3rd grader Falyn.

Coulter said he's planning nine more drills this year at different schools with a focus on K-7 graders.

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